Memo from David O. Selznick
To: Mr. B. P. Schulberg (General Manager, Paramount)
October 8, 1930

I have just finished reading the Eisenstein adaptation 
of [Theodore Dreiser's novel] An American Tragedy. It 
was for me a memorable experience; the most moving script 
I have ever read. It was so effective, it was positively 
torturing. When I had finished reading it, I was so 
depressed that I wanted to reach for the bourbon bottle. 
As entertainment, I don't think it has one chance in a 
hundred.

... Is it too late to persuade the enthusiasts of the 
picture from making it? Even if the dialogue rights have 
been purchased, even if Dreiser's services have been 
arranged for, I think it an unexcusable gamble on the 
part of this department to put into a subject as 
depressing as this one, anything like the cost that an 
Eisenstein production must necessarily entail.

If we want to make An American Tragedy as a glorious
experiment, and purely for the advancement of the art 
(which I certainly do not think is the business of this 
organization), then let's do it with a [John] Cromwell 
directing, and chop three or four hundred thousand 
dollars off the loss. If the cry of "Courage!" be raised 
against this protest, I should like to suggest that we 
have the courage not to make the picture, but to take 
whatever rap is coming to us for not supporting 
Eisenstein the artist (as he proves himself to be with 
this script), with a million or more of the 
stockholders' cash.

Let's try new things, by all means. But let's keep these 
gambles within the bounds of those that would be indulged 
by rational businessmen; and let's not put more money than
we have into any one picture for years into a subject that 
will appeal to our vanity through the critical acclaim that 
must necessarily attach to its production, but that cannot 
possibly offer anything but a most miserable two hours to 
millions of happy-minded young Americans.

David O. Selznick


An American Tragedy

REEL 1 1. Darkness. The low inspired voice of a woman is heard rising and falling in the singsong of a chanted sermon. Gradually there mingles with the voice the sounds of the city and the noises of the street. The siren of an ambulance -- the anxious ringing of a streetcar. The characteristic cries of newsboys. The tooting of automobiles. Gruff music through radio horns. With the ever-increasing sound of the various noises, views of the city flash upon the screen. Views that express a well-defined contrast. The infinite contrast between the chant of the sermon and the life of the city. And the woman's voice continues, exalted, speaking of the harm of drink, of the horror of sin and of the love of Jesus Christ. A small thin chorus follows the voice of the woman as she starts singing the 27th hymn: "How sweet is the love of Jesus." As yet we see neither the woman whose voice is heard, nor those who sing with her. 2. Of the many indifferent passers-by, there are one or two who listen to the sound of the song.... Persons slow their walk and look in the direction of the hymn. 3. A group of curiosity seekers gathered at the corner of a narrow street, they are busy watching. 4. The crowd watches pityingly. Various of its members speak of them in varying ways. Some mock them -- "You'd think they could find a better racket than this." Others pity them... Yet others patronise them .... 5. Finally -- the street missionaries. An old man with thick grey hair; a woman large, heavily built; and their children, two little girls and a boy of about seven -- CLYDE GRIFFITHS. It is they who are singing the psalms. 6. One woman wishes to know why they drag their children along with them. And a second woman clinches the comment by adding: "Better for them to be sent to school." The children, uninterested, listless, devoid of enthusiasm, their eyes astray, sing their hymns of praise while their parents try to gather alms from the little group of curiosity seekers. No alms are given. 7. The bystanders disperse, and the missionaries, folding up their music, pick up their small organ and move away into the cavernous darkness of the towering narrow street. 8. Seven-year-old Clyde -- sensitive and ashamed of his surroundings -- looks no one directly in the eyes. 9. The family of missionaries moves slowly down the street. "I think they were kinder today," says the mother. 10. They approach a dingy low-built odd-fashioned building, over the door of which hangs a sign Bethel Independent Mission. The rest of the family disappears within the small doors of this building and only Clyde remains on the threshold. He hangs back because street urchins are making fun of him and his family -- because he irks to answer them and pay them out for their mockery. But no words come to him, and with a typical movement he shrinks into himself. 11. In sorrow, and hurt by the insults, he turns from the laughing children and runs across a dark and dirty courtyard towards an old, steep iron fire staircase at the back of the mission; like some small hunted animal he runs up the staircase to a platform. By the platform, crouched on the steps, is his sister, seated there motionless. 12. Esta, his elder sister, who played the harmonium on the street corner, is crouched on the steps; she peers through a stone gap between the houses onto the street, alive, bathed in light. Clyde sits down beside her as though hypnotised; as though enchanted, the children stare at this tiny piece of noisy life, listen rapt to the sound of an odd waltz, the strains of which float up from an unseen restaurant. They look, listen and dream. FADE OUT 13. And again in the darkness the same feminine voice rising and falling in the cadences of a singsong sermon. Now Clyde's mother is speaking of the Life of Man -- the child that becomes a youth -- and the years that pass and the youth that becomes a man; and again the darkness dissolves and we see the favourite nook of the children, but now in their places are sitting a youth and a young girl. Clyde is now about sixteen or seventeen years old, and the girl a year or so older, but the impression remains enchanted as before. There are more lights on the street, its noises are louder, its movement more bustling. From the restaurant we now hear the quick lively tune of a foxtrot, but the expression on the youth's face has remained the same and there is the same weary sadness in the eyes of the girl.... 14. In the restaurant is being played the well-known dance the chorus of which is formed from the hackneyed repetition of a cry of Hallelujah, and from below, in the mission building, rise, interrupting the woman's sermon, the same cries but with another intonation and another feeling -- Hallelujah. And as the same yet different cries of Hallelujah clash, the tremendous contrast forms a discordant dissonance that rouses Esta and the boy Clyde, who start at its sound. They descend the iron stairs. 15. Opening the yard door into the mission, they pause just within it.... The mother has finished her sermon and, with sincere exaltation and faith, bids her listeners sing the last psalm: "If ye have faith -- as a grain of mustard seed, Ye shall say unto this mountain; Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall move; And nothing shall be impossible unto you." Finished, she asks her followers to sing the chorus. 16. Clyde is miserable. He wishes to leave. His sister presses his hand and, though equally unhappy, she nevertheless goes docilely towards the harmonium. The congregation gets ready to sing.... They clear their throats -- (cough!) .... They blow their noses and shuffle their feet. Clyde, hatred in his eyes, turns his head from the spectacle, and goes into his own room, slamming the door behind him. His mother looks up in concerned surprise. 17. Inharmoniously and out of tune the congregation begins to sing. 18. Clyde sits down on the bed, hiding his face in his hands. 19. The mother sings with deep faith and religious feeling. Sleepily, droningly sings the father .... The congregation sings hoarsely and out of tune. 20. Clyde jumps off his bed, grabs his hat, brushes the dust off it with his sleeve, and leaves the room with decision.... With firm steps he walks past the crowd of singers, and his anxious mother, continuing to sing, follows him with surprised eyes. Esta at the harmonium is likewise startled by his behaviour. Clyde goes out into the street and moves, firmly resolved, in the direction of Life -- in the direction of light and movement; and the further away he gets from the mission the less clearly does he hear the discordant tune, and the stronger grows the sound of the street and the brighter grow its lights. 21. He passes the show windows of a sports-goods store.... The windows, and glass showcases set out into the street, crowded by dummy figures of the well-dressed in white bathing suits, tennis dresses, white golf suits -- brandishing all manner of sports weapons. Clyde drifts amid the maze of these white society dummies. 22. He passes a drug store, where, amidst dazzling shine of metal and white porcelain, the soda fountain is being manipulated by a youth of his own age clad in white cap, tunic and apron. Clyde stops, as a group of young girls, laughing and joking, take all the seats at the counter. The youth jokes with them as he mixes his syrups and creams like a circus magician, flipping his glasses and spoons like a juggler. Clyde sees that one of the places at the counter is empty. The young girls smile enticingly, but the fewness of the copper coins he has extracted from his pocket make him turn and go in the opposite direction. Now he passes close to a gasoline station, where boys of his own age, in white dungarees, are cleaning the windshields of magnificent cars, filling the radiators with water and pouring gasoline into the tanks. 23. His path lies past the bright entrance of a cinema. Boys of his own age in ushers' uniforms of white, trimmed with gold, like those of lion tamers, stand there seeming to him more magnificent and splendid than generals in uniform. Past all these boys, so beautifully groomed, so proud and self- assured, slinks Clyde in his little darned old suit, his haircut as of a day long past, his manner as of a crushed, maimed soul. 24. Suddenly the sad weariness leaves his bearing, and alert attention enters his expression.... At first a little cautious, then musingly uncertain, then resolute, he looks at a sign glued to the glass pane of the door of a store. The sign reads Boy Wanted. Clyde is undecided but at last he takes hold of the doorknob to turn it. The door is locked, and now Clyde sees a postscript on the sign Apply before 6 p.m. He looks around him and sees on the clock of the city hall -- 10. 25. Out of the mission, straggling, the last remnants of the congregation are making their way onto the street. Clyde enters the building, he passes through the hall, there is no one at the harmonium, the harmonium seat is empty, the mother is talking to a miserable group of persons about to leave. 26. The deserted harmonium. 27. The father preparing dinner. 28. The deserted harmonium. 29. Clyde enters his room. Approaching the chest of drawers he takes out his money box and jingles it next his ear. It is of papier mâché, a worn child's money box in the form of a pig; it contains only a few pennies. Now he takes out of his pocket the money that was insufficient to buy him a soda and thrusts it, coin by coin, into the slot. As he restores the money box to the chest, he catches sight of himself in a mirror, approaches it and scrutinises his reflection. 30. From under the bed he pulls out an old album with a collection of illustrated newspaper clippings on which are represented heroes of the world of sport -- of fashion -- dancers -- entertainments in which girls and boys of his own age participate. He looks back into the mirror and compares himself with the pictures. 31. The mother, a coffee pot in one hand and a mug in the other, approaches his door offering him his dinner. 32. Clyde starts at her voice, hides the pictures, and, having learnt the object of her knock, refuses his dinner. When the steps of his mother have died away, and the squeak of the closing kitchen door has reached him, Clyde proceeds with his strange occupation. He combs his unruly hair, pours on it some oil out of a bottle, and then parts it like that of one of the boys in the pictures. He ties his tie into a bow, and, tearing a little piece of material from the curtain, tucks it into his breast pocket. When he now surveys himself again in the mirror, he smiles in satisfaction at the marvellous change in his appearance. At this moment comes an anxious knock at the door. Clyde neither starts nor shrinks in the manner customary to him. With firm step he goes to the door and he asks what is the matter without hesitation. From behind the door in a voice uneasy and trembling, unusual to her, his mother asks him to let her in. Clyde half-opens the door, and his mother looks into the room over his arm, asking him whether he has seen Esta. Clyde is surprised at her question and her manner. "We can't find her," says his mother. At that moment enters the father, and, as though confirming the words of his wife, says that he has hunted through all the places outside, where she usually goes and he can't think where she can have got to. 33. The deserted harmonium. 34. Clyde dashes into the little room of his sister.... Her things are in disorder. The signs of a hasty packing. 35. The parents are speaking of asking help from the police. 36. From out of the bed in the room next door peep the frightened younger children. 37. On the pillow of his sister's bed is pinned a small note. Clyde finds it. Before he has time to unfold it, his mother stretches out her hand for it. Having read it, she pales and says: "She's run away with someone. I thought she was happy here, but evidently I was wrong." Only now does the mother notice the change in her son. Only now does she notice his changed way of dressing his hair, his tie, and his grown-up appearance. And Clyde suddenly, in an unfamiliar voice, speaks. An outburst full of bitterness. He speaks of the futility of his existence. He says he wishes to work, but he doesn't know how to do anything because he hasn't been taught anything. He says his parents have done nothing for him, not even written to his Uncle Samuel who has a big collar factory and might have taught him to work. They haven't even done that. He raises his voice and says that he won't go on living like this, that he wants to work and he will work. 38. While he is engaged in this outburst the younger children creep out of bed and approach their mother. She drops wearily into an armchair. Clyde stops suddenly and runs out of the room. The mother is quiet under the blow of these unexpected events. She notices the children, puts her heavy arms around them, and tells them what they should say if anyone should ask where Esta is. She has left to visit relatives in Tonawanda. This will not be quite true but we may say it because we ourselves do not know the whole truth. Go pray to the Lord and go to sleep. 39. And in the yard, on the platform of the fire escape, trembling with emotion at the scene he has just gone through, Clyde -- now alone-- stands gazing out over the town, the mysterious town that has swallowed up his sister, where one by one the lights twinkle and go out. REEL 2 1. Dawn creeps up over the city. 2. And already Clyde stands, in the pale light of the dawn, in front of the store with the notice Boy Wanted. The store is not yet open. Clyde waits and waits, until life begins slowly to waken on the street. At last the door of the store is opened from within, and a youth appears, wearing spectacles and clad in a white smock. Clyde asks him: "Is this where the boy's wanted?" The youth shakes his head and grins. Clyde, disappointed, points to the notice. The youth laughs, takes it down from the glass doorpane and explains that he's the boy that was wanted; he got taken on yesterday. The fortunate youth withdraws into the store closing the door behind him and Clyde, discouraged, sits listlessly down upon the steps. An angry-looking individual opens the door and comes out: "What do you want?" -- he asks of Clyde. Clyde explains again that he wants work. Crossly, the man replies that he has nothing for him. Taking a second glance at the boy, he notices his good looks and offers him a hint: "You look a smart lad. Why not try the hotel round the block?" He gives Clyde the name -- Squires -- of the staff manager, but warns him not to say who sent him, and as Clyde, his spirits soaring, moves away, the storekeeper calls out: "But don't give them my name." 3. Clyde stops at the corner to write down the name Squires. As he does so we see that he makes orthographical mistakes indicating the imperfection of his education. 4. Across a yard into which the hotel garbage is being thrown and where coal is being unladen for the heating of the building -- through the door where dirty linen is being checked into a van and by sculleries where dishes are being washed, Clyde passes into the office of Mr. Squires. 5. "We need good-looking boys," says Mr. Squires to a redheaded youth with freckles all over his face standing before his desk. "Sorry," says the boy. "Next." From Mr. Squires. Clyde, entering the private office, plunges into the midst of telephone calls, the signing of cheques and forms. Mr. Squires' every attention is wrapped up in calls and errand boys. He looks up at Clyde standing there and sees in a glance all he desires to know about him. He tells him rapidly the conditions of work, calls a boy and sends Clyde with him to be fitted for his uniform. 6. As Clyde takes off his shoes with their patched soles, he is ashamed of them and of his darned socks ashamed of his soiled and mended underwear as they take his measurements. The youth who is his guide looks superciliously at him, and keeps his eyes fixed upon him, which tends only to increase Clyde's embarrassment. The name of the boy is Ratterer. "You gotta be back ready to start at a quarter to eight this evening," says the boy. FADE OUT 7. FADE IN Clyde's hand is seen grasping the papier mâché money box and breaking it against the window sill -- the fragments tumble, and the hand picks up the coins from among the fragments. 8. Active hands, busy hands cleaning all manner of people in all manner of ways. Hands stropping, shaving the razor blade down a soap-buried cheek, trimming the hair with great snips of the scissors -- hands busy polishing boots with a boot brush, and the great hand of the city clock pointing to 7:35. 9. The basements where the hotel boys get dressed, little elbowroom and plenty of noise. Boys are busily slicking their hair down -- scenting themselves with a dash of eau-de-Cologne -- giving an extra shine to their shoes -- tilting their caps at an angle, just so -- and smoking cigarette after cigarette. In a corner sits Clyde, uneasy and bashful. He is washed, his hair is cut, he is spick and span in his new uniform. He is terribly anxious, as a schoolboy before an examination -- as a soldier going into battle. Ratterer enters towards him, looks him over authoritatively with the air of a superior being -- fixes Clyde's tie, pulls at his uniform -- fixes his cap at the right slant over his eyebrow and then starts to give him instructions. Having adjusted Clyde's clothes, unconsciously noticing him as clean and neat, Ratterer becomes friendly. He sits there at his ease, his knees crossed, flicking the ash off his cigarette with a finger of the hand that holds it. Clyde sits on the very edge of the bench, his knees apart, striving to control his anxiety. Ratterer begins: "In the morning the blinds have to be pulled up -- at night they have to be let down -- at sundown switch on the small light and always put fresh water in the closet." 10. As Ratterer speaks we see on the screen the mechanical routine of an hotel boy's duties. A day-boy pulling up the blinds. A night-boy letting down the blinds. Ratterer continues: that when the room is ready one can stay by the door a few moments before leaving, and if this procedure results in a tip it must be gratefully acknowledged -- and if it doesn't one must show no trace of disappointment and bow oneself out. And as he continues we continue to see the illustrations of the routine. And Ratterer continues: that no matter what happens, the guest is always right, and he adds that, in a good day, if all goes well, Clyde may possibly make as much as six or seven dollars in tips. 11. Six or seven dollars! Clyde is speechless with joy. 12. The signal bell, and Clyde stands in single file with the other boys ready for duty .... A second bell and the boys go through a small door, through which as it opens is heard penetrating a buzz of voices and the distant music of the hotel orchestra. The army of boys approaches large gilt doors and, as these are flung back, Clyde is plunged into the maelstrom and dazzle of a gorgeous gilt and mirror hall decorated for a ball. 13. Immediately by the doors whence he has emerged is a cloakroom. Piles of rich furs heap upon the counter. A woman beside him flings back her mantle and emerges from it, white and naked by contrast. The silks, the exquisite dresses, the precious stones and elegance bewilder and increase the anxiety of Clyde. 14. On the highly polished floor of the vestibule of this hall stands the file of boys ready for orders. 15. To Clyde, these are not boys on duty but almost the Guards at the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. He feels that this is a parade, at which he will be promoted general at least. 16. The parade is finished, groups of the boys disperse in their several directions, Clyde is in a group that sits down on a long bench waiting for calls. 17. Barely have they sat down when a bell rings -- from out of a small window an order is given, and the first boy in the line runs off to fulfil it. 18. Bell after bell, order after order, boy after boy -- the long line of boys keeps moving up as those at the head move up, returning to sit at the tail when their tasks are completed. As, little by little, Clyde sees himself approaching the head of the bench his anxiety grows stronger and stronger. His movements are more nervous and there is a bewildered expression in his eyes. 19. And on the background of the accompaniment -- of bells of orders being cried out -- of the music from the restaurant and the laughter of the guests -- occasional fragments of Ratterer's continued instructions continue to penetrate to us: "You gotta use the employees' elevator" -- "Even numbers are on the left of the corridor, odd numbers on the right." 20. And Clyde approaches nearer and ever nearer to the end of the bench -- and the bells ring ever more frequently and the tempo of everyone's movements hastens and speeds. It is his turn now. He trembles in his anxiety like a race horse at the "Off". A bell. An order rings out: "Number 500" -- Clyde dashes up the short flight of steps to the gates of the elevators on the Bel-étage. 21. The employees' elevator is full. 22. At the last moment he squeezes into a neighbouring elevator. The doors shut to, deadening the sound of the orchestra, the laughter and noises of the great hall. 23. The elevator is packed with men in evening dress. Clyde is wedged into the midst of satin lapels and stiff white cuffs. The elevator goes up and up, leaving behind it the sound of the ever receding music. The glitter of the evening dress suits and the polish of the men only increase the anxiety of Clyde. The elevator stops. Clyde squeezes aside to let someone in and then darts out himself. 24. The doors of the elevator swing to behind him, and Clyde is left, solitary, in the carpeted silence of a long empty corridor. At first he runs quickly, but then more slowly for it seems sacrilege to run on the soft sinking pile of this carpet. 25. He stops before the big double doors of No. 500, brushes his hands over his hair, gives a twist to his tie, to his cuffs, and knocks. "Come in," is heard from behind the door. 26. Clyde opens the door. It is dark in the room; only one light shines from behind a screen. A man's hand with money in it reaches out from behind the screen and a masculine voice is heard telling him to go buy a pair of garters. "Pink ones," adds suddenly a woman's voice from behind the screen. "Yes, sir," stammers Clyde in his confusion and runs down the corridor towards the elevator. 27. A Negro boy is in it, guiding the elevator, and together they start going down. "New?" enquires the Negro. "You'll soon get used to it," and, learning his errand gives him directions for finding the hotel shops. 28. The doors of the elevator slide open, Clyde rushes out. The doors close behind him. 29. Clyde is in the shop. The woman behind the counter is finishing wrapping the garters and hands Clyde, together with the package, a bill and a ten-cent tip. Noticing his pleased surprise she tells him that every time he buys anything there he will receive 10 per cent commission. 30. Clyde rushes out of the shop. He is lost in the series of great halls. Through Morocco -- through Venice -- through rooms in Empire and in Gothic style, through samples of all the world he hurries frantically. At last he is back in the main entrance hall, filled with guests in their gorgeous dresses. He threads his way through the great crowds, and once again at the last moment manages to squeeze into the elevator. 31. The elevator is crowded with ladies. Amidst the expensive dresses and perfumes and the nudity of the bared backs stands the trembling Clyde, his excitement having passed all bounds. 32. A bell. Clyde dives through the bevy of ladies and stops before No. 500. The door opens, and in front of the decorated screen stands a man in radiantly glittering dressing gown. Clyde bends and obsequiously hands him the package, the bill and the change. The man absent-mindedly takes the package, puts the change into his pocket, and screws up and throws away the bill--then he looks at the garters and then at Clyde. Exactly as instructed, Clyde stands in the same place, shifting from foot to foot. The man throws open his dressing gown with a gesture, takes a fifty-cent piece out of his vest pocket and gives it to Clyde. Clyde cannot believe it. He is numb with astonishment. To look at the garters the man turns on the light, and with the click of the switch the room suffuses with brilliance, as the glow of happiness suffuses Clyde's face. "Fifty cents." An unknown voice is heard screaming it and a smile almost of exaltation brightens the whole face of Clyde. "Fifty cents." Still louder screams the strange voice, and together with the cry the orchestra is heard playing a wild, happy march. As though at High Mass the music peals forth, and the hotel resembles a mighty cathedral. Like an organ swells forth the huge proud volume of music and a tremendous chorus of human voices rends the air asunder behind the whole small being of the youthful Clyde, clasping in his fists his fifty-cent piece. 33. And as the screen fades and grows darker, so the mighty notes of the music grow fainter and their sound slowly fades -- 34. And there rises the image of the poor mission hall and the sound of its congregations singing psalms. 35. Clyde runs through the mission hall into his room, closing the door behind him. 36. He goes to pick up his money box but it is there no longer. Only the fragments of it are upon the sill. Then he unclenches his fist and in the palm of his hand are to be seen silver coins to the amount of several dollars. And with the same gesture as that with which the man had thrown back his dressing gown and given Clyde his first tip, Clyde now throws back his coat and thrusts the money into his vest pocket. Then, slapping his pocket with his hand he looks at himself in the mirror and smiles his first smile. And together with this first smile are heard from behind the door the strains of a joyous song such as "Everybody's happy." REEL 3 1. It is a morning, and boys are filing through the office of Mr. Squires. Mr. Squires sits at his desk and each as he passes lays a dollar on the table, to be greeted sometimes by a nod. Mr. Squires appears casual, but we can see from his glance that he is watching carefully to make sure of his tribute. The little dollar pile grows and Clyde adds his quota. "Quite at home now, eh!" -- greets Squires as he pockets the money. "Yes, sir," replies Clyde and goes. 2. Clyde goes into the dressing room, smokes a cigarette, and in a carefree knowing way, dons his hotel uniform. With a practised hand he smooths his hair, flips the ashes off his cigarette, ties his tie and laughs at the cracks of his colleagues, among whom is Ratterer. A bell is heard, and the boys get into line. 3. As on the first day, they all go into the hall, but the hall now no longer seems as grand to Clyde. A morning, businesslike atmosphere pervades it -- emptiness -- severity. The tempo of the successive bell-ringings is no longer frenzied, but slower, deliberate. And as bell follows bell, there passes before us, in glimpse after glimpse, the fragments of life as they pass before a bellhop, the moral face that society presents to him. The boys seated on the bench are quietly yawning and bored. 4. A bell. Clyde jumps up and runs to the office. A happy and bright couple of newlyweds ask for a room. The clerk tells them the number, and gives Clyde the keys. Clyde takes their luggage and leads them to the elevator. 5. In the room, obedient to Ratterer's instructions, Clyde goes through all the necessary operations. He opens the blinds in the windows, checks the electric bulbs, sees if there is ink in the inkpot, water in the pitcher, and goes into the bathroom. Left alone, the couple kiss. Obeying Ratterer's instructions, Clyde changes the water in the carafe. At the sound of the running water, the newlyweds start and look guiltily at Clyde, standing in the doorway. He smiles back in answer to their smile. 6. A bell. A second boy on duty jumps up. He carefully knocks on the door of another room. "Come in," a voice is heard to call out. The boy enters. He is carrying a large bundle of newspapers Once in the room he sees through the half-open door into the bathroom. In the bath, her back to him, sits a woman combing out her wet hair. "It's our wedding day today," says the woman. Her husband grunts unintelligibly in answer, and starts picking out the papers he wants from the boy. The woman, seeing a youth, gives a scream. The man laughs at her fright and hides himself behind the paper with the callous expression a one who thinks such modesty from her unnecessary at her age. 7 A third bell. A third boy on duty jumps up. With a tray on which are bottles of soda water he enters the room. Within it, all is in dreadful disorder. A gramophone -- empty bottles -- cards -- and from behind the back of an armchair can be seen the feet of a sleeping man. A woman is lying in bed and abusing a second man who is pouring a drink for himself out of a hip-flask. The woman, having said what she wanted to, turns her back on him. "Behave yourself," the man says, as he sees the boy enter. The woman in irritation, to spite him, throws her blankets off her, sits up and chucks the boy under the chin. Sensing a quarrel, the man gestures for the boy to get out. 8. A fourth bell. A fourth boy on duty, handsome, sunburnt, closes the door behind him. In the foreground of the room he has entered are baskets of flowers. He hears a woman's voice, as if calling out his name. He straightens up, and smiles a knowing smile. Sitting in an armchair, the woman motions with her hand. On it are numerous bracelets, rings, and her fingers hold a long cigarette holder. The fourth boy on duty approaches her. 9. Three bells ring one after the other. Three boys jump up and run off. In a room stands a woman, who is sobbing in terrible distress. Mr. Squires is annoyed, he is scolding her as she packs her things into a trunk. The woman says: "What a fool I've been -- and he walking straight out like that and leaving me," and at that moment the three boys enter. The woman finishes writing out a telegram, and a boy takes it, then waits for the money. The sobbing woman searches in her purse and cannot find any money. Mr. Squires takes the money out of his own pocket and the boy runs out into the corridor. 10. The fourth boy circumspectly leaves the room of the woman with the cigarette holder, and, folding a bundle of dollars, hides them in his pocket. 11. "We can wait two or three days, but you will have to change your room," Squires motions to the other two boys to take away the sobbing woman's luggage. In another part of the room two stout Negro women are pulling the bedding and table cloths off the beds and tables. 12. Clyde and Ratterer are going down the stairs carrying trunks. "You haven't forgotten," says Ratterer, "that we're going out tonight?" "Oh, no," answers Clyde. 13. From the room vacated by the deserted woman we can hear the laughter of the Negro maids, changing the linen. One of the plump women pinches a bellhop who has just come into the room. 14. In the room where they undress, the boys, finished with their duties, are changing their clothes, and laughing at one of their number who is imitating the sobbing woman. Ratterer is biting his lips in anticipation of the night-out; showing an imitation of the "Danse du Ventre" to Clyde, comically exaggerating the snake-like movement, as a sample of what he is to see that evening. "And gee, next week, Clyde, that will be a time. I know a fellow who's a gardener and the people there will be away. We can take their car easy, one of the fellows here can drive. And we'll get some girls and we will have a time! Don't forget." Having divested themselves of uniform vests and caps, the boys are dressing in smart evening dress, hats, fastening up the fancy bows of their ties, fixing their silk pocket handkerchiefs, and fastening the laces of their shoes in extravagant bows. They powder, scent themselves with eau-de-Cologne, oil their hair, put cigars into the pockets of their vests and, in such a costume, Clyde looks like an illustration for a fashion magazine. At the back of the huge hotel, with merry jokes and an important stride, a group of the boys goes but dressed up like men. The group disappears in the darkness. 16. The window of Clyde's room. Dawn behind the window. And in the room a lamp is burning and in a sitting position on the bed, his mother has fallen asleep waiting for him. 17. Clyde, coming in from the street, cautiously opens the door to the mission building, over which hangs a sign: How Long Since You Wrote to your Mother? 18. On tiptoe Clyde walks through the big empty hall, past the empty harmonium. He quietly enters his room, goes to the mirror and studies his dishevelled look consequent in the riotously spent evening. Suddenly he notices the lighted lamp, turns to the bed and sees his mother. Her open eyes seem to have been watching him. But they had been unseeing, she had other thoughts. Startled, he is confused by awareness of his appearance, and quickly starts to take out the bright links from his cuffs. "Clyde," he hears his mother's voice. The mother is sitting on the bed, she looks long at him with strange eyes. Clyde is worried. He hides the bright cuff links, but the mother remarks nothing about him, she says: "Clyde, couldn't you help me find some money?" And her rough, big, coarse hand passes over her face. "You see -- Esta -- has been left by the man who ... by her husband.... She is in a terrible plight -- I will sell your father's ring, then you know -- we have -- a silver jug and plate -- but it won't be enough." Clyde's surprise and worry pass. He begins to feel the superiority of his position. He puts his cuff links back, and with an intonation which is still humble but has a different ring in it, promises to find money for his mother. His mother asks him to add five dollars a week for the rent of his room, so that with this money she can pay back the money she has borrowed. Clyde agrees half-heartedly and makes a sour face. "You see, mother, I don't earn very much and then I wanted money rather specially next week," he says. FADE OUT 19. A luxurious open Packard drives out of a garage. Ratterer, dressed in smart evening dress, closes the garage doors. At the wheel sits a boy of about sixteen or seventeen years, dressed as elegantly as Ratterer. Looking about them, they turn into an alley where two of their companions (one of them Clyde) and four young girls, powdered and dressed up, are waiting for them. They take their places in the car, and Ratterer says to the boy at the wheel: "Well, there -- no one saw us -- I told you it would be safe as houses." And, with a grinding of gears, the Packard starts off. 20. A young girl is sitting on Clyde's knees. She presses close to him, and he derives from her contact a trembling sense of pleasure. But Clyde is inexperienced, he is shy. The car goes rushing by pretty roads, the girls squeal at every turn, pressing closer to the boys. Time passes. They have gone far. The sun is setting, and the boys look at their watches. "We must be getting back now," says Ratterer, "or we shall be late for work." And with a risky movement the Packard is headed round. Looking at his colleagues, Clyde slowly grows more certain of himself and, seeing how they press the girls closer to them and boldly kiss them, Clyde embraces his companion who, helping him, kisses him herself. The car stops at a railway crossing, letting a long freight train pass by. Ratterer is nervous and tells the driver: "Step on it -- there'll be a fearful bawling-out." When the last freight wagon opens up the road for them, the car at a mad speed dashes through the evening darkness, along the wet roads. 21. The first snow is falling. The wet flakes cover the windshield and close the eyes of those in the car. At a street crossing they cannot pass because of the steady traffic across. It is five minutes to six on the watch. The boys no longer embrace the girls, they are anxious, nervous, beat their knees with their hands, twist their watches in their hands, stamp their feet on the boards, and wait for the moment to get across the crossing. At the very first opportunity, at high speed, the car flashes past and dashes into an alley. At the turning, from out of a corner, a little girl comes out, and the car knocks her down. Terrified, the driver, his face livid with fright, accelerates his speed, and the car, humming like an aeroplane, dashes past. "Stop that car" -- "He's killed a child" -- "Stop, stop!" "Stop them!" Cries and whistles are heard from the alleys, and, humming ever louder, the Packard goes ever quicker with its terrified occupants. "Switch off the lights!" cries Ratterer, and the driver turns the switch to off. Without lights, through the dark alleys, the car dashes on. The sirens of police motorcycles are heard behind them. Hearing these sirens, the driver pushes the speed up to the very highest the car can go. 22. The sirens are heard ever nearer and a group of motorcyclists come dashing into the camera. 23. Skidding at a turning, the Packard is thrown against the pavement, jerks sideways, cuts into a mound of stones and wooden boards, and, crackling with a loud noise, it turns on its side. 24. Clyde jumps to his feet, having been thrown out through an open door, and, trembling with fear and foreboding, looks around him. The roar of the police sirens approaches nearer, becomes more and more terrifying. Wiping the blood off his face, Clyde runs into a narrow alley between tall buildings, climbs over a fence, over a mound of bricks, runs through a lot of dust and rubbish and reaches the outskirts of the town, where the prairie begins. Looking back, he sees, through the curtain of falling snow, the lights of the city, hears the roar of the police sirens, the whistles, the cries. He sees behind him the ruin of his job, the scandal that cuts him from his home. Clyde trembles and, turning, goes away into the fields, hiding in the thickly, fast falling snow. REEL 4 1. The darkness lightens to disclose the anxious family of Clyde intent upon a letter. The letter is the first news they have received from him for a year. In it he has related something of his difficulties and fears following the Packard accident, his scraping of an existence from town to town. Now he is working in Chicago, a small job and he is sorry he cannot yet send money. The family is deeply moved. The father stares in front of him. Clyde's mother pauses, and puts down the letter. She cannot finish it. The little girl ends the reading of the letter. At the end of the letter is set Chicago, the date and the year. 2. The letter fades out and we see the city of Chicago and, resplendent on one of the buildings, is an electric sign. The sign outlines a collar, a collar gorgeous, in apotheosis -- straight lines of light, like a fiery star, like a halo, shoot out around it, bursting and extinguishing like the opening and shutting of a fist. And ever and anon, beneath it, shows the illuminated signature: Samuel Griffiths. 3. The camera pans down, and we see a man with a travelling bag beside him on the pavement and an umbrella. His head strikes the background of the lighted collar and over his shoulders bursts out the illuminated sign: Samuel Griffiths. He is standing outside a sort of residential club, a hostelry much more sober of exterior than the hotel of previous reels. A porter runs up to him, takes his grip away from him, and follows him through the doors of the club. 4. Having checked-in for a room, he hands a visiting card to the clerk. The name on it is: Samuel Griffiths. 5. Once in his room he rings down, asking that newspapers be brought him, and, while waiting for them, he looks out of the window, pondering upon the advertisement of his wares. A boy comes in with the papers. He offers him a tip, but the boy, shifting as if embarrassedly on his feet, refuses to accept the money, saying: "Excuse me, sir, but are you Mr. Samuel Griffiths?" "Yes," answers the surprised guest. "Well, excuse me, sir, my name is Clyde Griffiths. My father is your brother." "Oh, indeed!" exclaims Samuel Griffiths, glancing at him shrewdly. Clyde bears this inspection. He has been through a good deal. He is thinner and more subdued, but still sensitive-looking and handsome. 6. In the corridor an employee of the club, in the same uniform as Clyde, is vacuuming the carpets. On the stairs, a second servant in uniform is polishing the brass balusters. A third servant is washing a large windowpane, through which can be seen the city, and the advertisement of the collars. 7 Clyde is standing deferentially before Samuel Griffiths, who, patronising and seated, is bringing a homily to an end: "If you want to get out of the rut and be somebody, and care to come down to our part of the world, I think I should be ready to give you a chance to show what you have in you and what you are capable of." Clyde, but still deferential, thanks him with warmth and then, hearing a bell in the corridor, hurries out of the room. 8. The interior of the Griffiths' household. The family -- his wife, son Gilbert, and daughter Bella, are breakfasting. "Well, what is he doing now," Gilbert, displeased, desires to know. "He serves in a club in the capacity of a messenger boy," Mr. Griffiths answers. "But father says he is very, very much like you, and much handsomer than any of our other cousins." "Bella!" -- her mother stops her. "I still can't understand," says Gilbert, who really has a strong resemblance to Clyde, only looking a little more sullen and less docile, "why father takes on people when we have difficulty in keeping those who already work for us. Besides I can imagine what will be said when people know this messenger boy is a relative of ours." "It is too late now to do anything," says the mother. "He's arriving, and you had better try to control your rudeness." 9. Neatly, if inconspicuously dressed, with a small grip in his hand, Clyde approaches the gates of the Griffiths factory. The watchman takes him for Gilbert, opens the gates for him, and greets him: "Good day, Mr. Gilbert." "Excuse me, my name is Clyde. But I should like to see Mr. Gilbert," Clyde answers with an embarrassed smile. He passes through the gates. "Well, what do you want?" the secretary asks, without lifting her head. "My name is Clyde Griffiths. I have a letter with me from my Uncle." And the secretary, lifting her head, does not know how to act, so surprised is she at the extraordinary likeness of Clyde and Gilbert, whom she quickly rings on the telephone. Having heard the answer, she says: "You may enter," and leads him to a door, with the sign: Mr. Gilbert Griffiths. And having entered, Clyde sees himself as he likes to imagine himself. It is Gilbert -- his cousin. Both lose poise at the resemblance. 10. Telephone bells ring -- machines are working -- the collars run along endless bands -- men and women are busy with different kinds of work -- smoke comes out of the factory chimneys -- the typewriters click in the Griffiths factory. 11. The discomfort of Gilbert shows itself in an icy coldness, the discomfort of Clyde shows itself in a nervousness and hesitation in speech. The gulf between them has grown wider with the advance of the conversation. In Gilbert's office, the conversation continues. Gilbert: "Father tells me you've had no practical experience. You don't know accounting?" Clyde: "I am sorry to say I do not." Gilbert: "You don't take down shorthand, or something like that?" Clyde: "No, sir, I do not." Gilbert: "In that case it will perhaps be best for you to start working in the shrinking room; that is the department in which the first stage of the business takes place. By this means you will be able to learn our trade from the very beginning." Gilbert presses a button, and in answer to it a well-dressed young woman with a scowl on her face enters. Gilbert: "And so, good-bye, Clyde. Mrs. Bradley will tell you all you want to know, and tomorrow you must be at work by 7 a.m." And without shaking hands, Gilbert bows officially to Clyde. 12. Clyde comes out of the factory gates and walks in leisurely fashion along the streets. 13. And all at once he finds himself before an imposing mansion, with bronze deer in the garden and marble lions over the entrance gate. It attracts his admiration. "Can you tell me please -- whose house is this?" he asks of a passer-by. "You don't know? Why that's the home of Samuel Griffiths, one of our leading citizens." "Thank you," answers Clyde and, though rendered puny by the contrast, yields himself to the luxury of reflecting on his connection, however humble, with this gorgeous family. The mansion slowly fades in the darkness. 14. And in the darkness the factory looms roar, and the steam machinery hisses, and out of the clouds of steam appears working a perspiring, wet, miserable-looking Clyde. He seems unable to get the hang of his work. The material boiling in the kettle keeps falling off his tongs, and spraying his chest with boiling water; he is despairing, lost, and helplessly looks around him. The foreman comes to his help. He emphasizes the name "Mr. Griffiths," sits by him and starts to explain and show him how to handle his work. Around Clyde are working experienced men, their movements are calm and sure. And, after seeing them, we realise how little suited Clyde is to this work, how unhandy he is in character, how difficult he finds it to be in this low-built, stuffy room, among red-hot kettles, clouds of steam and the roar of the machines. And when the factory whistle blows, Clyde sighs deeply with relief. 15. Weary and exhausted he comes into his room and sits down on the bed. The furnishings of his room express everything that is dingy and horrible in a boardinghouse existence. No more comfortable, in reality, than those of his room in the mission, they differ only in being more oppressive. A knock at the door, his landlady enters, asks him if there is anything he wants. She accents his name "Griffiths" in snobbery. "There's a letter for you, Mr. Griffiths," she adds, and hands it to him. The letter is an invitation. Dear nephew, Ever since your arrival, my husband has been away or busy. Now, he is less occupied and we should be very glad to see you if you could come to dine tomorrow, Sunday. We will be quite alone, no guests. And there will be no need to dress. Your aunt, Elizabeth Griffiths. 16. Once more Clyde stands before the gate with the marble lions and the gardens with the bronze deer. But now he feels as though possessed of the magic key. He brushes his hair back, flicks a speck of dust off his carefully pressed dark suit, fixes his tie and rings. A maid opens the door and leads him to the drawing room. The room -- filled with different kinds of furniture, bronzes, candelabras, little statuettes, flowers, covered in carpets, with beautiful draperies -- amazes Clyde. He looks about him, and hears the swish of a silk skirt. The swish approaches. Coming down the wide staircase can be seen a pair of feet, and the swishing of the silk dress increases. Mrs. Griffiths is coming down the stairs, a thin, faded, sweet-tempered woman. "So you are my nephew," she says, coming up to Clyde. "Yes," answers Clyde. "I am very happy to meet you -- welcome," Mrs. Griffiths greets him in formal manner. "How do you like our city? We are very proud of our street." -- begins Mrs. Griffiths to the embarrassed youth. She is interrupted by the arrival of Griffiths himself, who takes Clyde in with a penetrating look, and says: "Well, it's good you came. It means you got fixed up. Everything was done for you without me?" "Yes, sir," answers Clyde. "Well, that's perfect. I'm glad. Sit down, sit down." The rattle of feet fast descending the staircase, and Gilbert, in evening dress with a coat on, plunges into the hall. He speaks to his parents, ignoring Clyde except for a nod. "Well, I'm going out now, mother," he says in an even voice. "Are you sure you have to go? You know Sondra Finchley is coming back with Bella and she wants to see you." "No, I have to go." He gives a quick side look at Clyde as if to tell his mother: You know why I'm dining out tonight, pecks her forehead and hastily goes out. The signal neither escapes Clyde nor increases his self-confidence. Dinner is announced, and Clyde walks with his aunt and uncle through several large rooms, all satin and mahogany, each stiffer than the last. Dinner is not a success. Conversation flags, and Clyde is painfully uncertain in the various social graces such as bestowal of the napkin and correct selection of the fork. As unobtrusively as possible he endeavours to wait for the example of his relatives, but he is conscious that they are conscious he is waiting. Dessert has been reached when there is the sound of a car drawing up at the door, of the doors being opened and a burst of laughter and barking comes into the room. Gaily into the dining room come three girls, and pause in the doorway. They still wear their wraps, one of them is Bella, and one, in the centre, holds two wolfhounds on a leash. The newcomers had checked at the sight of the stranger, but Mr. and Mrs. Griffiths rise and welcome them. Mrs. Griffiths explains to the centre figure -- Sondra Finchley -- that Gilbert is not in, he had to go out, at which news Sondra makes a movement of annoyance. Never has so gorgeous a being previously appeared before Clyde. Her white dress, the orchids on her shoulder, the straining wolfhounds make her appear as a being from another world. He of course had risen too, and hovered, partly expectant that he would be introduced. But most certainly not. Perhaps not consciously, but certainly inwardly relieved at escaping for a moment from the need to entertain him, uncle and aunt have forgotten his existence. He is supremely conscious of his ostracism, of the gulf that yet separates him from such incomparable denizens of Paradise, as he gazes at this girl, like a firework bursting in the darkness, like a saint glowing upon an altar. And her figure is covered in mist, growing thicker every moment, and whirling upwards in its movement. She is hidden in white clouds, and these clouds expand. 17. And now they are the cloudy bundles of hot steam coming out of the factory kettles, and in this steam Clyde is working, perspiration running down him, and frightened by the noise of the machines. Samuel Griffiths, surrounded by his managers and secretaries, is coming down the factory stairs into the cellar. He makes a wry face, as he sees how one of the workmen, bent over the can, is stirring small pieces of material in the boiling water. The workman has little strength left, his face is burnt mercilessly as well as his hands, he groans from his efforts and his pain. When the workman turns away from the can, and turns to Samuel Griffiths, he recognises the workman -- Clyde. Wet with perspiration, in a torn shirt, his chest bare, with hands swollen and red from the steam -- the nephew stands before the uncle. The uncle turns his head and sees Gilbert, who looks so like Clyde, but crimped and elegant. 18. Embarrassed and not knowing how to act, the uncle goes upstairs. Entering the director's office, he turns to Gilbert and says to him: "We must transfer Clyde to another department. After all he is a relative of ours and we cannot keep him there. Heaven knows what people will be saying about us." Gilbert is abut to disagree. The uncle adds: "Besides, he looks so much like you." Gilbert no longer dissents, and taking his hat and coat, Samuel leaves the office. 19. In the outer office the telephone rings. The secretary listens with the receiver, and says: "I understand. From the cellar department, workman 70 is to be transferred to you? I understand. Yes, Mr. Gilbert." 20. The foreman approaches Clyde and tells him to go to the director's office. Clyde takes off his wooden shoes, his leather jacket: over his torn shirt he puts on his coat, and then goes up the stairs. 21. He enters Gilbert's office. Gilbert, more kindly than before, tells Clyde that he has given permission to have him transferred to another department, as he feels he has gained enough experience in the cellar. "Instead of fifteen dollars weekly -- you will now receive twenty-five dollars. My father, your uncle, wishes it to be so." Clyde mops the perspiration off his forehead, and his face brightens. Gilbert, as distant as ever: "We have decided to give you a trial as manager of the stamping department. The work is easy and does not require any technical knowledge. But you must show qualities of character. There are twenty-five girls working in that department and you are responsible for its moral tone. Our rules absolutely forbid any relationship outside the factory with any female employee and we expect you to set an especially high example by your conduct owing to the fact that you are related to us. Now you have got your chance, do not allow yourself to be disturbed by working in the presence of so many girls." At the very first words pronounced by Gilbert, his office disappears from the screen, and in its place we see girls stamping collars. Slowly they all drop their work, and their heads become turned in one direction. And as Gilbert's words are heard, on the screen we see more and more of them, and the stronger grows their coquettishness, and the more concentrated their gaze -- And as the gaze of twenty-five pairs of eyes flirtatiously centres on one spot, we hear Gilbert's voice -- "You must not get acquainted with these girls, and must never meet them after working hours. Have you understood all I have told you? Do you promise to do as you have been told?" And at that moment all the girls turn. "Yes, sir," answers Clyde's voice, and on the screen we see his figure, elegantly dressed and severe. In a pose of expectation Clyde stands face to face with twenty-five young girls. "How do you do?" the chorus of young girls greets him. "How do you do," answers Clyde. REEL 5 1. Springtime. On the ledges of the factory windows coo pigeons, through the panes a river is sparkling in the sun, and within the factory is the noise of looms and the hissing of steam machinery. 2. Five and twenty girls of differing characters, of differing types, are working behind long tables stamping mountains of snow-white collars. One of the young girls throws open a window -- startled, the pigeons fly away flapping their wings, and the mechanical noise of the looms has become softer as its sound loses itself through the open window in the spring-clad gardens and fields. 3. As a breath of sweet fresh spring air enters the room the girls breathe in deeply its freshness and sigh with relief ... They are all young, all in their own way are charming and pretty ... And the eyes of all of them are constantly focussed in one direction. Thither, where stands the head of the department. The twenty-year-old Clyde Griffiths. 4. He is dressed in a well-cut suit with a smart modern tie. He is handsome, and that is why the girls' eyes are so often directed towards him. But Clyde tries not to look at the young girls. He remembers Gilbert's warning and with all his strength tries to be indifferent and unapproachable. But the sweet spring breeze is coming through the open window and fills the room. The pigeons return to the window ledge, joyously the looms work on, and because of the spring warmth the girls open up the collars of their blouses and turn up their sleeves, but Clyde tries to remain cold and severe. 5. Noticing the light-heartedness of his workers he goes to the window and shuts it in order to emphasize his severity. His movements are clumsy and cramped for he feels upon himself the gaze of five and twenty pairs of youthful eyes. 6. One of the girls, Roberta, while watching Clyde, makes a mistake, stamps the number on the wrong side of the collar. She nervously approaches Clyde with the spoilt article in her hand and tells him of her error. Clyde tries to be serious and reserved. He dares not look into the young girl's face -- he gives her instructions with face averted -- but when the girl's naked arms come forward in passing him the collar he cannot help but lift his head and meet the shy admiring look of Roberta. 7. The factory whistle blows. The joyous crowd of girls comes out of the factory gates, runs up and down the stairs. Some of the girls are being met by their sweethearts, but Clyde, looking out of the window, notices that Roberta moves down the street unaccompanied, alone. 8. Over the factory chimney in the evening mist a full moon rises. Alone, Clyde strolls along the boulevard. 9. Alone, Roberta sits on the river bank. 10. At the entrance to a cheap dance hall Clyde stops, hesitating and thinking to enter, but at that moment the foreman of the shrinking room greets him: "Good evening, Mr. Griffiths." The foreman goes on his way but his respectful "Mr. Griffiths" still lingers in Clyde's mind, and it brings before him the image of the wealthy house of his uncle with its bronze deer in the garden, and its marble lions on the gates .... And accordingly he does not enter the cheap dance hall, but, turning around, moves off. 11. Roberta is in her room.... She turns off the light and looks out of the window at the smiling spring moon. 12. And Clyde is sitting at his window sill and likewise looks at the same moon as it gently hovers over the chimneys of the factory. 13. And again the machines beat. Once again five and twenty young girls are busy stamping collars ... Again the girlish eyes embarrass Clyde. It is hot in the building. From the heat and the sweat and the thickness of the air, everyone is filled with languor and weariness, languor is in the heat of the machines, languor fills the eyes that grow more amorous and Clyde with greater difficulty holds himself in hand; and when suddenly his gaze meets that of Roberta he does not lower his eyes but smiles, in a sudden unexpected smile. And to his smile answers a smile of Roberta. 14. And the machines beat on. And in their work the girls' hands flit to and fro, and on the bench float mountains of snow-white collars, and more and more often Clyde's eyes meet Roberta's. They meet in those moments when the other girls are not looking. They steal seconds from the quick tempo of factory work and, accompanied by the dull roar of the machines, the monotonous beat of the stamps, the hissings of the steam, their gaze speaks a dumb language miming the sympathy reciprocated. 15. The heat of the sun grows stronger. It is hot in the building .... The girls languidly speak of young Clyde and build fantastic tales around him and his wealthy relatives, tales of his imagined luxurious life, the while Roberta listens, looking with pride and affection at his handsome figure, and flashing a happy smile at him at a convenient moment. 16. And on the white ceiling, and on the whitewashed walls of the factory the sunlight plays in bright pools reflected from the river. These pools of light leap and dance to the sound of the machine in quick rhythm and fantastic composition, and then slowly the noise of the machines dies and in the water we see the calm surface of a lake on which is reflected Clyde as he comes rowing in a skiff. 17. And on this body of water the same exquisite rays of light dance their way. Also on Clyde's face, and on the sides of his little boat, just as they did on the walls and ceiling of the factory. 18. Boats pass by with couples in them, with singing, with the strumming of a banjo, or guitar, and through this atmosphere of love Clyde drifts along alone and lonely. His boat drifts slowly along through the tangle of water lilies, quite near the shore. And on the shore, at the very brink of the water, stands a young girl; her hat is off and she is admiring flowers. 19. Clyde stops rowing and watches her. And when the boat comes abreast of her she lifts her head and Clyde sees her smiling face. "Miss Alden! Is that really you?" "Why, yes. It's me," smilingly answers Roberta, but she is startled and seems a little afraid. "Are you spending the day here?" asks Clyde. And noticing that she is watching the water he adds: "Would you like some of these flowers?" "Oh, yes," answers the girl and looks surprised. The dark hair of Clyde is wind-blown, he wears a sports vest short-sleeved and open at the neck, and one of the oars is lifted high above the water. All this makes the girl inwardly tremble, and in order to cover her confusion she gives him a charming smile. 20. She looks out onto the lake and sees a boat pass by in which are sitting a youth like Clyde and a girl like herself .... And all over this lake similar boats drift by and in each one of them are just such identical couples. "Oh, please take a seat in the boat," she hears Clyde invite her. "Why yes, only I have a friend with me here and besides it might be better for me not to, it may not be quite safe." "Oh, but of course, it's safer to sit on dry land," laughingly Clyde answers her. 21. Boat after boat... Couple after couple ... Song after song float down the water past them. And, suddenly anxious, Roberta cries out: "Grace, Grace. Where are you?" From the woods in the background a voice is heard answering: "Hallo. What's the matter?" "Come here, I want to tell you something." "No, you'd better come here. There are marvellous anemones over here." "You know what we'll do? We'll row down to where she is. What do you think of that?" asks Clyde. "Why yes, certainly," answers Roberta, and suddenly bashful, in concern, once more asks him: "You're sure it's safe?" "Quite safe." 22. Roberta jumps into the boat and Clyde helps her so that she shall not fall. "Do you know, I had just been thinking of you .... I had been thinking how nice it would be if we were rowing together on this lake." "Is that true, Mr. Griffiths?" Roberta wants to know. And Clyde, shyly reaching forward, strokes her hair. "Don't!" Roberta says, frightened, and becomes more reserved and colder towards him. 23. And, together with a crowd of other boats, their boat drifts along among rushes under the shade of thick-leaved boughs into nooks by the shore. 24. And along the water's edge are heard youthful songs the chords of guitars .... And the sun begins to set. Evidently Roberta feels cold for she has come to sit next to Clyde.... Evidently he has not noticed how their boat has become tangled in the rushes and that they are now left alone.... And, as in the hotel, on the long bench of waiting bellboys, Clyde was filled with trepidation, so now once more he is filled with trepidation, from the fullness of his youth, from the presence of the young girl by his side, from the secluded nook ... And he kisses her. She tears herself away from him, frightened, saying: "Mr. Griffiths." But Clyde, made happy by his daring, excited by his conquest, smiles as he smiled that day when he earned his first money, and heard that grand music, that majestic -- swelling -- hymn in the hotel. And the echo of that music rises in the tune of a dance hall distant on the other side of the lake. 25. And paying no attention to her exclamation, to her fright ... at the sound of that conquering march he turns his boat to the shore where Roberta's friend is waiting. 26. Forgetting all, forgetting where he is and what he is... he wanders through the woods and across the fields, through streets and alleys, walking to the tempo of the ever swelling march .... 27. And when he has shut the door of his room, he speaks quietly but exaltedly: "To live! To live! How good that is." REEL 6 1. No longer does the river glisten behind the factory windows. The long factory windows are closed -- to shut out the cold, whistling wind.... 2. Silently the girls go about, stamping their endless train of collars. Silently, with concentration, Clyde is working in his little office. No longer do Roberta's eyes and his meet in affectionate understanding -- they are like strangers -- at least as such they conduct themselves. 3. The factory whistle.... From out the gates, the hands make their way .... In the jostling crowd, Clyde and Roberta come face to face with each other, but they do not wish to acknowledge each other's presence. They look past each other. And they separate, each going his and her separate way.... Clyde to the right.... Roberta to the left.... 4 The gates of the factory close.... And its lights are turned out.... 5. The tower bells play in the evening air and the street lamps light up one after the other.... And when one of these lamps goes on -- it throws its light on the shivering figure of Clyde. He lowers his hat over his eyes, and walks into the mist. He is waiting -- back and forth by the railing he walks, wrapping himself tighter in his coat to save himself from the severe gusts of cold wind. 6. Into the light of the lamp Roberta enters. She carefully looks around her. 7. Clyde calls her by a tender intimate little name. 8. He gives a peck of greeting on her cheek. Not because he is indifferent but because he is still shy and respectful. He kisses her once more and whispers to her. When, across the pavement, the figure of some passer-by goes past, they stop their love-making and press against the dark corner, remaining motionless until the figure has disappeared. "It's getting very cold," Clyde says. "I don't know what we're going to do. Isn't there some place where we could sit down?" "Couldn't we go to a movie or a cafe?" asks Roberta. Clyde shakes his head and answers: "They might see us." 9. Another passer-by. Once again they stand still in their dark corner. 10. When the steps of the stranger die away, a new gust of wind makes Roberta and Clyde shiver from the could and he says: "What do you think? Couldn't we go to your room for a little while?" "No, no, no, that wouldn't be right." Shaking her head and frightened, Roberta answers him. Clyde takes out his watch and lights a match -- 11.30. "No, no, we might be seen," continues Roberta. But Clyde is excited and resolved. He links his arm through hers and together they go down the street towards her home. 11. Roberta begs him not to come near her house but Clyde is insistent and stubbornly leads her towards it. "I can't see why we shouldn't go in out of the cold." "No, you oughtn't to come in, Clyde. It may be all right in your set, but I know what's right and what's wrong, and I don't want it." Clyde's face sombres and Roberta looks at him, scared at her own firmness. The tense minute-long pause is broken by the hysterical bark of a little dog. Clyde: "If you don't want to let me come in and sit down a few minutes ...." Roberta: "Oh, it isn't that, but I can't. I'd like to but I can't. You know it's not right," and she puts her hand on his shoulder. Clyde shrugs his shoulders, turns away and says "Well, all right, let it be so, if that's how you want it," and he makes a movement with his shoulders throwing off her hand. "Don't go away. I love you so Clyde. I'd do anything for you I could," and she embraces him. "Yes, yes," roughly answers Clyde, and tearing himself from her embrace he goes off into the darkness. And at that moment someone kicks the little dog and it gives out a long painful wail. 13. Roberta, bewildered at his departure, cries out loudly to him in despair: "Clyde, Clyde!" 14. But he does not turn back. 15. Filled with despair the girl, not knowing what to do, remains standing stock-still in the same place. Clyde has not stopped. Quietly the door of the house opens and a woman looks out inquisitively while her hand pushes the wailing dog away. 16. Further and further away, fainter and fainter, Clyde's footsteps are heard disappearing. 17. "Don't leave me," Roberta cries out to him in a voice full of tears. Then she runs after him. But after running a few steps she stops and, frightened, looks around her. The footsteps are no longer to be heard, nor the dog's wail. Roberta feels weak, she sits dawn, sobbing, upon the ground. One by one the street lamps fade and her sobbing grows weaker. 18. Rain lashes the factory windows -- The looms beat harshly and unpleasantly -- Heavily hisses the steam machinery -- And even and anxious in the hands of the girls is the sound of the stamp as it falls. 19. Pale, Roberta is working nervously and uncertainly. Motionless, Clyde sits over his papers. It is no longer cosy in the stamping department. It is bare and empty.... Not many hands remain.... Little merchandise .... Empty tables.... Empty shelves.... And that is the reason why the sound of the machines is so unpleasantly grating. 20. Rain falls behind the windows. 21. Roberta tries by every means to catch Clyde's attention, but she herself does not look at him. There is an increasing nervousness in her movements and an increasing number of mistakes in her work. She is nearer and nearer to complete despair, and suddenly she sees -- Clyde is smiling to the other girls. Clyde is flirting with her neighbour. Her head is spinning. The roar of the machines fills her ears. The beat of the motors is as fast as the beat of her heart. She is unable to hold out. She runs off to the girls' rest room, where, on a little piece of paper torn from off the table, she writes a note: Come. And they go to her home. 22. As they come in together, she switches on the light and it floods the dingy parlour that is her apartment. "Oh, this is nice," says Clyde. "I never thought it would be so cosy." She takes off her coat. "We'll have a fire in a minute," she says and kneels to adjust the coals before setting light to it. He kneels on the mat to help her. They are close together. So close their elbows touch. She half turns. He lets his head drop on her shoulder and raises his hand to stroke her hair. Putting her arm round his neck, she presses her lips to his head and then speaks: "Dear...." 23. And when in their embrace the two young bodies come into contact and the hands grope for one another in a sudden new desire, that majestic music that Clyde hears in the happiest moments of his life bursts forth once again. And when they stop their kisses for a moment, behold, the ceiling of her little room has opened to the heavens and so have the walls. Marches of victory. Hymns of happiness are rending the air asunder. And they no longer know where they are because fantastically beautiful but absolutely incomprehensible things crowd in upon them, and they laugh a young and infectious happy laugh. And while the fantastical compositions with the underlining of music change from one to another, her voice, in an anxious whisper, is heard to say: "But never, never! If anything should happen... You won't leave me?" And Clyde likewise in a whisper, answers her: "Never -- I'll never leave you." 24. And again they are standing facing each other at the door of her little room; now they are saying goodbye, and once again Clyde repeats: "I will never, never leave you." Kissing her before he leaves, he goes out into the street. 25. But still Roberta's face holds traces of anxiety as, through the window, she watches his disappearing figure. 26. And for the first time Clyde walks off like "a real man." His head is proudly held up and his hands thrust deep into the pockets of his coat. 27. He passes by a big luxurious automobile. "Hallo! Are you walking?" he hears a voice. "If you like I can give you a lift." Sondra Finchley is saying these words, looking out of the window of the automobile. Clyde turns away. Sondra, astonished, says, "Oh, excuse me. I thought it was Gilbert." "I beg your pardon, it is I," he answers, taking off his hat. "There's no need for excuses, I'm very glad to see you. Please get in and let me take you wherever you are going." He would like to leave and takes a few steps backwards, but Sondra, desiring to cover the mistake she has made, insists: "But do come, Mr. Griffiths." Embarrassed he goes to the car and sits beside her. 28. At that moment the chauffeur returns with a package and she asks Clyde where she can take him. 29. The car makes its way quickly along the road. "I didn't realise that you were mistaking me for my cousin," Clyde says in his embarrassment. "Don't speak about that any more. Tell me rather why do you never go any place?" "I'm working in the factory and have very little time," answers Clyde. Sondra's conversation, flirtatious and flippant, ends in her promising Clyde to get him an invitation to a dance that is to be attended by the very best society of the town. The beauty, charm, dress and manner of the rich girl overwhelm Clyde with admiration and he cannot take his eyes off her all the ride long. And Sondra, looking at him, notices his charm and good looks. They smile at each other, but at that moment the car comes to a stop at the corner of his street. 30. The chauffeur opens the door of the car and Clyde steps out. "Till soon," answers Sondra in reply to his thanks. 31. And the car disappears behind the bend. 32. Clyde remains standing still on the empty street and listens to the ever fainter noise of the car. "Mr. Griffiths," he hears once again the name as she pronounces it. "Griffiths", repeats Clyde to himself, standing there frozen between embarrassment and a new pride. REEL 7 1. Hands are fastening the laces of patent leather shoes -- then the same hands lift higher, dusting an almost invisible speck off the crease of the trousers -- then higher still, as they button a black dinner vest. At last they give a final twist to the black bow tie, and in all the glory of his new tuxedo, drawn to full height, we see the figure of proud Clyde, polished, smartened and finished by Roberta. Now she is giving a final comb to his hair. As she lays down the comb she says: "If I can't keep you all to myself, if I must share you with the Griffiths, I'll make you as beautiful as I can." She helps him on with his coat and white silk muffler, hands him his brand-new silk hat, and escorts him to the door. As she hugs him in a kiss: "You'll think of me tonight, won't you dear?" she says. He is gone. 2. The first snow of the year is falling, and Clyde, to protect his new suit, opens his umbrella. He pauses beneath a lamp, takes a card from his vest pocket and rereads the text: The Now and Then Club Will hold its First Winter Dinner Dance At the Home of Douglas Trumbull 135 Wykeagy Avenue On Thursday, November 4. You are Cordially Invited Will you Kindly Reply to Miss Jill Trumbull. It is to this address he is going, not to the Griffiths. Turning it over, Clyde rereads a note written on its blank side: Dear Mr. Griffiths: Thought you might like to come. It will be quite informal. And I'm sure you'll like it. If so, will you let Jill Trumbull know? Sondra Finchley. Having read the note, Clyde tucks it away carefully in the pocket of his vest and resumes his way. Past the amazed inhabitants of the poor quarter, Clyde walks beneath his umbrella, filled with pride and self- satisfaction. 3. Handsome-looking cars stand before the entrance to Jill Trumbull's home. A group of chauffeurs, chatting among themselves, make room for Clyde to pass through. He rings at the front door. Behind it can be heard happy laughter and conversation. The door is opened. The servant takes his hat, coat and umbrella from him and, once inside, Clyde finds himself face to face with Jill Trumbull. "I know you. You're Mr. Griffiths. I'm Jill Trumbull." -- and on this they shake hands. "Miss Finchley hasn't arrived yet, but I'll do my best as hostess until she comes." 4. She leads Clyde through several rooms, introducing him to various girls on her way. "This is Mr. Clyde Griffiths, a cousin of Gilbert Griffiths, you know." The girls, who are speaking to attendant swains or otherwise engrossed, nod and smile politely with a -- "How do you do" -- "So pleased to meet you," and turn back to their companions, completely uninterested. 5. Finally, guided by Jill, Clyde arrives at a big fireplace at the end of the room where stands, resplendent in white waistcoats and tails, a group of unoccupied males. Here, with another muttered introduction or two, a little laugh and an "excuse me" she leaves him to return to her welcome of other newcomers. Clyde stands on the rug in front of the fireplace. Beside him on the rug stand the males, tall, wide-chested and stiff, their hands behind their backs and their feet separated. They survey him dully, while he endeavours to control his nervousness. 6. Into another room, adjoining at some distance by wide-opened doors, Sondra enters in a dazzling white dress. Her entry causes a stir, Sondra is always a centre of movement. "Is Griffiths here yet?" she asks eagerly. Through the intersecting doors Clyde can be seen on his rug. He shifts about nervously, the stiff society young men are reminiscent of the maze of society dummies in the glass window cases between which, earlier, he drifted. Sondra calls Jill and her friends to her. "He's presentable, isn't he?" she says. "He's better-looking than Gilbert. We must take him around a bit. Gilbert will be furious. Oh, what a lark!" A rustle of silks and satins, gay approval and the group starts laughing forward. 7. Clyde looks up. Across the room he sees Sondra advancing, more beautiful and resplendent than ever. He feels a thrill at her approach. Sondra greets him and surrounds him with a bevy of girls, who have crossed the room in her train. He is at once the centre of the whole group. All are eager to cultivate Clyde, the idea of spiting someone else through him appeals to them. "We shall have the first and the eighth dances," says Sondra with authority. "And I want you to dance with Jill, Betty, Clara...." naming several of those around. 8. The strains of the first foxtrot are heard coming from the ballroom and Sondra leads him to the floor for the first dance. The orchestra plays rapidly; embracing Sondra, adoringly but gingerly, as if he held something too precious to be real, Clyde allows himself to be swept into the dance among the crowding couples. Rapt by the rhythm, he is beginning to stammer his appreciation to Sondra, when she gently disengages herself and he is swept up, first by one of the girls whom she led to greet him -- then by another -- -- from one to the other he is swept, dancing with each a bare moment. Snatches of their conversation reach us. His partners pretend a roguishness. One: "You're better-looking than Gilbert." Another: "I saw you going into the confectioner's on Central yesterday. Were you getting something for your girl?" (This one alarms him.) And another: "Sondra thinks you're handsome." (Clyde thrills.) "She told us she means to see a lot of you." 9 And once again Sondra is with him. The jazz continues. 10. The jazz diminishes and dies. In the factory rest room. A gust of giggles. Roberta is taking down her coat from a peg. The other girls, also preparing to leave, are laughing and gossiping. "No wonder Mr. Griffiths looks tired. I'll bet they stay up late at those parties. Dancing night after night." Roberta starts, and, concealing her interest, asks a question: "Don't you never read the papers? Why those young society people all went to two dances last night, on from one to the other. And they had Mr. Clyde's name down," is the answer. Roberta, the gossips turned aside, glances at a note crumpled in her hand: Dear, I have to dine with my uncle again tonight. You understand, don't you. Her fist grips round it. She bites her lip, her face is white. And the music of the dance begins to rise again. 11. Clyde is still with Sondra. The growing band music rises abruptly to sound ever faster and more gay, now fortissimo. To the fortissimo of the band, he whirls into a poem of the days that follow. A poem of dancing, laughter, joy. A poem of loving glances, smiles, hinted caresses. A poem of Sondra's gorgeous wardrobe. Today she is clad in black silk, tomorrow in fluffy white, or again in glittering silver. And always Clyde is dancing with her. Or they sit on a couch, or they stand in a glassed winter garden, or they dance together in a lighted ballroom or in an intimate club. And as their poem of love progresses, its rhythm becomes ever happier, with the happier tempo of the music and the increasing brightness of the light. 12. In his top hat, in his muffler, in company with a wealthy youth and girls, Clyde is passing, in a luxurious car, through the streets of the town. With a wave of laughter the car stops under a street lamp at a corner, and, excited, dishevelled, Clyde jumps out. Another burst of laughter and the car disappears. 13. Clyde turns the corner and sees a light in Roberta's room. 14. Sighing wearily, Roberta drops onto the bed. 15. Clyde, standing on the porch, starts to push the outer door, it opens. 16. Quietly Clyde enters Roberta's room. She turns a tear- stained face to him. "Clyde, where have you been? We haven't been alone together for weeks. What has happened?" Clyde feels uncomfortable, so makes a show of irritation. "I told you, I've had to go to see my uncle. You know what it means to me. You know I can't possibly refuse." Suddenly, unexpectedly, she jumps up, grabs a bundle of newspapers and turns towards him. "You're lying to me, Clyde." With difficulty keeping back her sobs, she shows Clyde the chronicle of his social life. One, two, three balls, more -- and in each among those present appears his name. Scared lest they wake the family of the proprietors, they quarrel in whispers. Whispers of passion, but now not of passionate love. "You were with Miss Finchley," says the girl, and this drives Clyde to lose his head. He runs up to Roberta, takes hold of her shoulders and brings her face nearer to his, looking straight into her eyes. And, seeing his face, his dear face, so close to her own, Roberta involuntarily forgets his neglect, and the old joy and tenderness for him appear in her expression. And as the familiar charm reawakens, Clyde, instead of striking her or scolding her as he had intended, kisses Roberta. And when she throws back her head it seems to him as though he is being held in the arms of Sondra. His fingers clenched in her hair, with new strength and new passion he kisses Roberta. 17. From the street we see the light go out behind Roberta's window. Nearby, from some source unknown, the laughter of a little child is heard in childish glee. FADE OUT 18. FADE IN Once more the noise of the looms in the factory, the hissing of the steam machines, and the sound of the stamps marking the collars. It is dark outside and the electric light is searing. It outlines sharply unusual shadows on the faces of those working. Roberta at her worktable is pale, sad and anxious. She watches Clyde, striving to catch his eye. But Clyde will not look at her. Roberta takes a torn slip of paper and writes upon it a note: Clyde, I absolutely, absolutely must see you today. Please come to see me after work or meet me somewhere. It is essential. Roberta. Taking a basket of collars she passes by his desk and, unseen by the others, throws him her note. As Clyde finishes reading the note he sees Roberta's face, nervous and full of anxiety. With a slight nod of the head he agrees to meet her. He glances at a memorandum pad on his table, inscribed: 10th January, Dinner at the Griffiths, and once again nods to Roberta. 19. Slowly the noise of the machines dies and the jigging melody of an old-fashioned dance fills the air. 20. Clyde and Sondra are dancing one of those old-fashioned, rapid jig-time dances in which everyone has to take part together, and which consist of circles and pairs. A Christmas tree and Christmassy decorations are in evidence. To the sound of handclaps beating with the music, Clyde -- now in tails -- and Sondra advance, jigging, towards the centre of the room, and circle hands on hips and back to back in one of the figures of the dance. By the walls a group of old ladies, made-up, powdered, overdressed, scrutinise Clyde and criticise his manners and success in society. They say that the Griffiths have started receiving him only because it became impossible for them not to do so when he was received by everyone else. Their smiles at the Griffiths' discomfiture are vinegar. To the merry, frantic children's tune, Clyde and Sondra whirl round in the frenzied closing figures of the dance. 21. The music stops with a burst of laughter. Clyde and Sondra run out into the hall and throw on their wraps and coats. 22. Outside the snow is pouring down and is slushy underfoot. Cars move away from the entrance. 23. Sondra and Clyde are in a car together. Sondra is driving. The car pulls up outside her house. She looks at him through half-closed lids and proposes: "Why don't you come in, Clyde. I'll fix you up a cup of hot chocolate before you go home. Do you like chocolate?" "Oh, yes," says Clyde. 24. The kitchen amazes Clyde by its luxury, its cleanliness, the glitter of its copper dishes and the large Norman-style fireplace with bright logs burning in it. And Clyde says, spontaneously and sincerely: "What a marvellous kitchen!" "Do you think so? Aren't all kitchens the same?" Sondra asks as she busies herself with the chocolate. She also looks around the walls of the kitchen and brings her gaze to a stop before the closed dresser. Having thought for a moment she goes to the dresser and opens wide its little doors. An arsenal of crystal and silver services. Tumblers and goblets that amaze Clyde by their number and glitter. And Sondra picks out the handsomest tumbler for chocolate, pouring the chocolate out of a jug into the tumbler, she sits down beside Clyde, near the fireplace, and says: "Isn't it cosy here?" "It's very lovely with you here, Sondra," says Clyde. "I'm pleased you're satisfied," Sondra answers smiling tenderly, and each notices the good looks of the other and both keep silent, not knowing what to say or what to do. "You've been very anxious to tell me something," Sondra asks in a very low voice. "I'd like to tell you a lot, but you forbid me to." "I know what you'd like to tell me." Both get off the bench and he takes her hand in both of his. Clyde looks at her as a faithful believer would look at a holy relic and under this gaze she lowers her eyes and Clyde, who has never done so before, puts his arm about her and kisses her. At the moment of this kiss the silver seems to glitter dazzlingly on the open dresser -- the burning logs crash throwing up sparks like fireworks, and for a few seconds Sondra allows herself to be embraced. Then she gently pushes him away without any anger and smilingly says: "Now you must leave, do you hear?" "Are you angry?" asks Clyde. Smiling, she shakes her head: "It is very late." And Clyde makes a gesture with the hand, as does a sportsman answering the ovations of a many-thousand crowd. 25. The handsome crystal tumbler stands on the table filled with the untouched chocolate. 26. With a firm tread, humming the melody of that "hymn of happiness", that same melody which passes as a theme motif through all his happy days, Clyde walks down the street, already deep in snow, smiling to passers-by. The snow is whirling down and pouring, a frenzied whirling blizzard. 27. He carefully enters the porch of Roberta's home and knocks at the door. The door is immediately opened and Roberta, still dressed in her day-dress, lets him into her room. 28. Her face is so very sad and frightened that it makes Clyde scrutinise her closely. "Do you remember, Clyde, you said that if ever a misfortune happened to me ... you would help me?" "A misfortune?" asks Clyde, and he sees how Roberta sits down on the bed lifting her hands to the waist of her dress. And again from some unknown source is heard the mocking joyous laughter of a child. REEL 8 1. A druggist's sign. The show window of a drug store. In it, among the array of medicine and bottles, the cardboard cutouts of nurses' figures and happy feeding children; this is an advertisement for milk, that for purgatives or candy. Hanging over the glass of the drug store doors, a bright illustrated sign of a naked little boy and his sympathetic father. Looking through the window is a nurse and her little charges, the children laughing, their attention caught by a gaily-coloured advertisement. And at the entrance to the drug store stands Clyde, uncertain and embarrassed. He looks through the glass, trying to inspect the clerk behind the counter, and he sees -- 2. -- a woman stands behind the counter, a saleslady. 3. Clyde grits his teeth, looks around him, and crosses the road, stopping at another drug store. Looking inside, he sees a man. Trembling with anxiety, he enters, and at the same time through the radio loudspeaker is heard a song sung by children in a treble. Through the window we are able to see Clyde approach the counter, take off his hat, and, embarrassed, ask something of the druggist. And as Clyde's embarrassment increases, so does the volume of the children's voices increase in the song over the radio. The druggist having listened to Clyde, shakes his head, and Clyde comes out onto the street. And at that moment, as Clyde opens the door of the drug store, the radio children finish singing, and are heard laughing over something in sheer exuberance. 4. With quick steps, Clyde crosses past some little knots of children playing on the street. He stops at yet another drug store, and looks in through the window. 5. A grey-haired, bewhiskered man is sitting there reading the newspaper. Next to the drug store is a phonograph shop. In its show window are cutouts of children and dogs listening to a record. And, within the shop, a record is being played of a child's recitation, touching and yet at the same time slightly comical. Turning away from the window, Clyde enters the drug store and -- While the child's voice from the radio shop continues declaiming how it loves its father and its mother, the sunshine and the forest, Clyde once again takes off his hat, bends over the counter, and he repeats his question to the elderly man. And we see the greyhaired man grow angry, wave his hands about and raise his voice at Clyde; what he says we cannot hear through the glass of the window, but we do see Clyde grow confused, excuse himself and come out onto the street again. 6. With quick steps Clyde makes his way through the noisy, busy streets. The lights are now lit. Gleams of light appear from the buildings, as lamps are turned on, illuminating the various signs, advertisements and illustrations in the shops. In the background is an enormous advertisement for milk, the huge, laughing head of a child. Clyde stops before it, thinking where to go. He looks around him -- on the roof of a tall building a children's jelly is being advertised. 7. As though feeling pursued by all these advertisements and signs, Clyde retreats into a dark alley. He still walks slowly, not knowing where he should turn. He has to stop at the corner of the street to let a heavy truck pass by, and as the truck passes, he notices that he is facing an obscure little drug store. Something, perhaps a man-of-the-world air in the bearing of the druggist, inspires him with confidence. An expression of resolution comes into his face, and he enters.... 8. An ambulance with its red cross and long whining siren dashes through the little street. The whine of the siren dies away. Clyde comes out of the drug store; as soon as he has passed from the view of the druggist he thrusts a small packet that he is holding deep into his coat pocket. He looks happier and his walk is firmer. He goes back through the streets he has passed, his hand firmly gripping the package inside his pocket. It is late. The lights fade, and in the growing darkness the laughing posters of the children are no longer visible. 9. Clyde goes into Roberta's room. She is so frightened and worried over what has befallen her that she no longer pays any attention to her looks. She is untidy, dressed in a provincial-looking dressing gown and her movements are bewildered and absent-minded. Clyde opens up the package, and takes out a bottle from it. Roberta snatches it from his hands, lifts it to the light, and reads the instructions on it. "We must hope that it will all plan itself out," Clyde says. They arrange that the following day, on his way to the factory, he will pass Roberta's house, and if everything works out well, she will raise the blinds, if not, the blinds will only be drawn halfway. He kisses her, but his tender words are only mumbled. "Oh, Clyde, Clyde!" Roberta cries, as she is left alone. 10. A Clyde who now appears much relieved enters his own room, to find waiting for him on his table several small packages from a smart shop. He reads an accompanying note from Sondra, her good wishes and greetings. These parcels she has sent him in token of their friendship, and in them he finds the smartest ties, and dainty handkerchiefs to be worn in the pocket. 11. Roberta is lying on the couch in her room. Her cheeks have fallen in -- the pupils of her eyes have grown immensely large -- her face is as white as linen -- there are deep blue circles under her eyes and the lips are parched. Suffering terrible pain, Roberta lies there on the couch. 12. The blinds of Roberta's room are drawn only halfway. 13. And Clyde stands looking at them on the other side of the street in horror and consternation. 14. The blinds are drawn only halfway. 15. Clyde goes down the street and stops at a men's goods store. He stands for a few seconds before the door, obviously nerving himself for a terrific effort, and suddenly goes in. 16. He pleasantly greets the salesman, clearly an old acquaintance. Absent-mindedly picking out a tie, he lets drop, as though a matter of little importance -- "By the way -- I wanted to ask you about something. Perhaps you could tell me. One of the workmen at the factory, a young fellow recently married, is very much worried over the condition of his wife." The salesman's face has grown annoyed; Clyde goes on, his nervousness, which he still endeavours to conceal, increasing: "I don't know why they always come to me about such things -- they seem to think I am very experienced --" But Clyde's laugh rings false. The salesman continues to smile with that smile that clearly covers annoyance, and he gives an even greater attention to Clyde, who adds: "I'm new in this city, I don't know anyone, and so I can't help him. But you've been here a long time, so I thought you might be able to put me in a position to advise him." The salesman looks around him, then comes nearer to Clyde and says: "Of course, I will be glad to help you, Mr. Griffiths. Continue, what is the matter?" And they start to whisper in very low voices, too low for the words to be distinguishable. Clyde is seen taking out a notebook, and writing down an address. Then he sighs with relief. "I'll tell the man not to mention anyone's name," Clyde says as he thanks the salesman and exits from the shop. Left alone, the salesman opens his eyes wide and whistles. He is in possession of a fine piece of gossip and he knows it. 17. Stealthily, to avoid remark, Clyde once more enters the house of Roberta. A lamp is turned on in her room. From outside the window, we hear Roberta's voice speaking: "No, Clyde, I won't go alone. I'm too afraid. I shouldn't be able to explain anything to him. I shouldn't know what to do, nor how to begin or anything. You must go with me and we'll tell him everything together -- or I won't go at all. No matter what happens." "Hush! Hush!" Clyde is heard to say, and then the words grow indistinguishable. And indistinctly, maybe from one of the top floors, are heard the feeble cries of a sick child. The child moans pitifully. And against the light of the room lamp of Roberta, Clyde's silhouette is seen as he pulls down the blinds, and it grows dark all round. 18. Roberta is half lying on the bed. Clyde sits opposite her on the couch. Pale, thin, Roberta stares at the light of the lamp, and says slowly: "I'll let you go." But, having said this, she is unable longer to restrain herself and large tears trickle down her wan face. In the painful pause that follows we hear that someone is walking down the corridor, shuffling in bedroom slippers. Doors creak and we hear that an attempt is being made to soothe the child. Roberta turns off the light. A pause. In the darkness, they continue their conversation. She must not be a drag on him, Roberta says, she is ready to face it and afterwards she will try to make her way alone in the world. Not quite alone, says Clyde, he will earn more money and be able to help her. No, says Roberta, she knows it will be alone and she is ready. But what if the doctor be unwilling?... Again they hear the wailing of the sick child, a monotonous, low wail and sit silent, staring unseeing. 19. And they still stare unseeing, but now they travel in a streetcar, and their stare is at the blank unreflecting windows, behind which lies the town in darkness. "Did you find out where the streetcar stops -- we won't have to walk far?" asks Roberta. "It's quite near. A quarter of a mile, not more," answers Clyde. An atmosphere of misery surrounds them as they sit in the streetcar. That cold and cut-off feeling of being the only passengers in a streetcar passing through dark and isolated streets. The hoarse clanging of the streetcar bell. "Is he old or young -- do you know?" asks Roberta. Clyde shakes his head. "It would be easier for me if he were old." They are silent again. Again the coldness and the enervating clanging of the bell. "Oh," moans Roberta, "if only the doctor is willing." The streetcar passes into the darkness. 20. Roberta is seated in the depths of a huge armchair in the doctor's room. Through the half-opened door of his consulting room the doctor and his family can be seen finishing a copious dinner. Roberta is nervous. Now the doctor is washing his hands in an adjoining room. Roberta closes her eyes. The old doctor is in the room. He is absent-minded "What is your complaint, how can I help you?" he asks. Roberta opens her eyes. She makes as if to answer, then, abashed, drops her head. "Calm yourself, child," says the old doctor and, passing the table, he comes and sits down beside her. "Your name? Mrs ...?" She answers: "Howard." "Wife of Mister...?" 21. Clyde, nervously walking up and down the pavement, before the doctor's railing. He stops, bites his lips, rubs his hands and nervously looks up at the house. 22. The doctor stands in the centre of the room, and says to the confused Roberta: "To start with, my conscience will not permit me to comply with your request. Secondly, such an operation is dangerous from a medical point of view, without even taking into consideration that I should be breaking our State laws as well as ethical laws ...." With an effort Roberta stands erect, she presses her hands together in anguish. "You do not understand! You do not understand!" Roberta says, trying to keep her tears back. "I told you an untruth, I have no husband; it must be done, it must be done!" 23. Clyde feels as though he had been lashed by a whip; he slips behind some shrubs with panicky, quick movements, as he sees an automobile pass by. 24. The doctor's door slowly opens, and Roberta, broken by his refusal, comes out. Mechanically she goes out into the street and goes past the shrubs behind which Clyde is concealed. He watches her, and from the way she is walking, and the expression of her face, he realises what has happened. But he dare not leave his hiding place, because of the cars passing down the street, and the pedestrians on the pavements. 25. Roberta, as though hypnotised, goes further and further down the street, unseeingly, having forgotten about Clyde. 26. When the street empties, Clyde runs after her and joins her at a deserted spot. At his question, Roberta only shakes her head, and wipes the tears from her eyes. Completely bewildered and helpless, they both stand there. "You can leave me after, but now -- you have to help me -- you have to --" And she starts to cry again. Clyde does not answer, and merely drops his head. Roberta is wringing her hands, she shakes her head and continues pitifully: "Oh, don't you see, I can't be alone with a child on my hands, and no husband!" 27. And around them, a new spring. Over the factory chimneys appears a soft, full May moon. 28. They reach Roberta's house. "You said yourself you don't know anything else we can do and every extra day is dangerous for me. There's nothing left for it, you must marry me -- right away." Cowardly, and in his anxiety really sorry for her, Clyde nods his head in confirmation of her words. In agony of realisation he closes his eyes. His eyes closed, standing alone in another place, on another street, Clyde nods his head. REEL 9 1. In a ravine, near the road, a miserable, half-fallen-in, poor farmer's house. An old woman is washing the laundry by the porch of this house; behind the open window Roberta finishes a hat she has been making. She tries it on, and talks to the old woman: "What would you say, mother, if I suddenly got married?" Continuing with her washing, the woman laughs at Roberta's question, and shakes her head. "Oh, now I understand why you needed a new dress. Who is he?" "I can't name him -- yet, mother. But I think it will be soon." "Oh!" says the mother, surprised and pleased. 2. And at this moment an old, broken-down cart to which a thin, bony horse is harnessed, comes up to the house. "Good day, Father," says Roberta. "Hello, Bobby," answers a tall thin man, his tired worn face smiling up at his daughter. The mother leaves her washing and goes across the dirty yard towards her husband. And Roberta, resting a piece of paper on the window sill, starts a letter. 3. But when she begins to think, the happiness fades from her face, there is sorrow in her eyes and for a long while she looks through the window, her hand holding up her head. Misery, dirt and poverty are to be seen through the window. The letter: Darling Clyde -- It was hard for me to leave alone -- as you know. But I am trying to calm myself, and now that we have decided everything, and you will come for me -- -- is written on the sheet of paper. Along the dirty glass of the window, buzzing, crawl flies trying to escape into freedom. But everything here is lovely -- green trees, everything is blooming. And again Roberta looks with sorrowful eyes through the window of the poverty stricken house. Among the darkness and the dirt of the yard one thin flowering plant is blooming. Several weak little trees are visible behind the fence. I can hear the buzzing of bees in the garden under my window. Roberta whispers to herself what she has written. 4. "Bobby, you are wanted at the telephone," she hears her mother's voice from the street. She runs out of the house, crosses the road, runs into the entrance of a post office. Excited, gasping or breath, she asks over the telephone: "Clyde, is it you? Oh, it's terrible, terrible, Clyde. I can't stand it any longer." -- and, after hearing his answer, made in a voice of excuses, she continues the conversation: "Oh, don't be angry. Clyde, don't be angry. I don't know how to control myself. But whatever happens, you must, you must do what we planned, Clyde. I'll write you a long letter, because it helps me when I write to you. Clyde!... Clyde!..." She hears no answer through the phone, calls him several times, calls out his name, then, disappointed at the unfinished conversation, hangs up the receiver and closes her eyes, because the tears are rolling down her cheeks. 5. Slowly Clyde hangs up the receiver, and exits from the telephone booth onto the verandah of the restaurant of a summer resort. He is in white tennis kit, a flower in his buttonhole, well-combed and handsome. "Hurry, hurry, Clyde," Sondra cries out from a sports model standing in the road by the restaurant. Clyde's dark expression is replaced by one of pleasure, and on the run he jumps into the centre of the car, into a group of young girls, merry and bright. 6. Roberta returns, entering the door of the decaying farm. 7. As the car drives, it drives into a new dream with Sondra, this time a dream of the joys of sport and the bright outdoors. Swimming, dancing, diving, racing, shooting, golf, tennis all are blended into a pictorial symphony that matches with a symphony of music, laughter and the natural sounds. And each is instinct with Sondra, and the personality of Sondra, and contributes to her growing charm for Clyde. Each scene, also, occasions some opportunity for intimacy. Now, on a tennis court, 15-love, 30-love, 40-love rings out, the syllable of "love" accentuated. Now he is pleading with her, on the crests of the waves, as they swim side by side, to run away with him, now immediately and, though she refuses, the coquetry of her refusal chases the gloom from his eyes. Ever the composition of the symphony rises, increasing their intimacy, and at last, as final movement, they are once more in a car, and we see flash past a white roadster, in the front seats Clyde and Sondra. 8. In the back seats is a group of laughing young people. The car stops at a crossroads, and Sondra asks Clyde to find out the road from someone. 9. Clyde goes down into the ravine, to a miserable, dilapidated house; on the post in front of it he sees the proprietor's name written in printed capitals TITUS ALDEN on a small board. Clyde is scared, hesitates and is about to flee, but Roberta's father comes up to him and asks him how he can be of help. "How can we get to Twelfth Lake?" Clyde asks hurriedly, impatient to retreat. And the sickly old man starts a long, slow, detailed explanation. And Clyde, barely hearing him, sees the pitiful ruins of the old house, and then, averting his head from it, he sees at the crossroads the dazzling car, and the laughing Sondra. 10. Without waiting to hear the end from Alden, he runs back to the car, white and with compressed lips. He is anxious, and his hand trembles as he points the way, and Sondra surprised at his alarm quickly starts up the car. 11. The car, with a roaring of its powerful engine, flies past the house. The father stamps heavily in. Roberta looks up from her letter and asks casually: "Father, who was it?" "I don't know, Bobby. Some rich no-accounts who lost their road." The sound of the engine fades as the car recedes ever farther away. FADE OUT 12. Clyde throws open the door of his rooms. He is still white, still worried, still distressed. He goes up to the table and sees on it a letter, in Roberta's handwriting. Annoyed and without pleasure he opens the envelope, and turns immediately to the last lines: We must get married. I insist on it. I have the right to. You have allowed all this time to pass in silence and unless I hear from you before noon Friday all your friends shall know how you have treated me. But I will not wait and suffer one hour more. Dazed, he stares at the letter, then lets his head drop forward onto it, his eyes closed. Then he raises his head again. His hands pull the letter towards him. And as it moves it discloses a newspaper that lay beneath it. Immediately in front of him is the paragraph: ACCIDENTAL DOUBLE TRAGEDY AT LAKE PASS UPTURNED CANOE AND FLOATING HATS REVEAL PROBABLE LOSS OF TWO LIVES. He reads it at first mechanically, without comprehending. The girl's body has been found but remains unidentified. The second victim has not yet been recovered. Fifteen years ago in this spot a similar accident occurred, but the body of the man was never found. 13. Clyde finishes reading the article, throws the paper off the table, turns out the lamp, and sits wearily down on the couch. And suddenly he hears a whisper: "And what if Roberta and you --" And in the dark corner, he imagines he sees an overset boat. Jumping up, Clyde turns on the light. He sits down on the couch again, nervous and shivering, he picks up the paper he had thrown away and rereads the article. And while he is rereading it with wide-open eyes, the whisper from afar gradually creeps up till it forms the word: "KILL". In a strange, gradual way the phrase spoken by the whisper forms and forms until at last it pronounces and repeats the whole word: "KILL! KILL!" And from this moment the action begins to work along the line of the thoughts of a distracted man, leaping from one fact to another, suddenly stopping -- departing from sane logic, distorting the real union between things and sounds; all on the background of the insistent and infinite repetition of scraps of the description in the newspaper. In this scene, in which the idea of murder is born to Clyde, he acts separately from the background, which keeps changing after him, either dashing in a mad tempo when the background is slow, then falling when there is no reason to fall, then unsteady on a rock, then transformed into stone-like motionlessness in the midst of a busy street. With the aid of the technical use of transparencies this effect of an inharmony between the actions of Clyde and his surroundings can be attained. Around him is first his room, then a street in busy movement, or the lake, or the mean dwelling of Roberta, or the summer residence of Sondra at Twelfth Lake, or the machines in the factory, or running trains, or the stormy sea, in each setting of which he moves, his movements being discordant with the scene. And the same with the sounds. These are likewise distorted, and a whisper becomes the whistle of a storm, and the storm cries out "Kill", or the whistle of the storm becomes the movement of the street, the wheels of a streetcar, the cries of a crowd, the horns of motorcars, and all beat out the word: "Kill! Kill!" And the street noises become the roar of the factory machines, and the machines also roar out "Kill! Kill!" Or the roar of the machines descends to a low whisper and it whispers again: "Kill! Kill!" And at this moment a pleasant, unemotional voice slowly reads the newspaper article: Fifteen years ago a similar accident occurred, but the body of the man was never found. 14. And at the climax of this symphony of madness Clyde jumps out of his nightmare, perspiring, dishevelled, excited. He runs to a telephone booth and calls up Roberta. Through the phone he speaks to her in a hoarse voice. "This is Clyde." He tries to put tenderness into his voice but in his effort there is too much affection. His voice, through the phone, sounds loving and soft; it seems unbelievable that a man in his state of frenzy could be so kind. "I'll come to you, Roberta darling. You must wait for me two days. The 3rd of July I'll meet you at 15th Station at eleven o'clock, and we'll go rowing on the lake, and we'll get married, we'll get married." And with trembling hand Clyde hangs up the receiver, and he leans against the wall, so as not to fall, while Roberta's sorrowful face lights up in trust and happiness. REEL 10 1. On a small railway station, away from the crowds of people, Roberta is sitting on her trunk. 2. Clyde is seen coming along a side street leading to the station. He is walking slowly, carefully, making himself inconspicuous behind the trucks of baggage, pausing behind large baskets -- he sees Roberta and, concealed, watches her. 3. Roberta is pale and thin. She looks pathetic, and is dressed in a new, homemade costume. Her hat is also new. Clyde's face expresses both shame and dislike. Nevertheless, he takes a few steps forward, so that she may catch sight of him. Roberta sees him. A happy look comes into her face and she goes to the ticket office to buy her ticket. And as she leaves the office -- Clyde approaches it, and buys his own ticket. She watches him, notices his light-grey suit, his new straw hat, the highly polished shoes, his grip and his portable camera. And a feeling of pride floods her at the sight of him. She smiles, and turns her head away from him, pretending to be a stranger, as though she did not know him. Clyde starts, because it seems to him that an old man in a worn suit, with a bird cage wrapped up in paper, is looking at him with suspicion, not taking his eyes off him. Clyde's knees are weak, and his hands are trembling. While waiting for the train he paces up and down the platform, starting nervously at every engine whistle. 4. With a great roar the train pulls in. Roberta gets off her trunk, lifts it. In her present condition it is heavy for her. Besides, the day is very hot. Clyde sees this, but, turning away, he enters the first carriage. Roberta gets into the last carriage. 5. Clyde places his grip on the rack, hiding its initials C.G. 6. Roberta, smiling happily, sits down by the window, in the sunlight. 7. The piston on the engine wheels starts to shadowbox in the shadow of the engine on the platform as the train starts to move. It leaves the station. 8. The wheels of the train beat out their usual rhythm, and to Roberta they sing joyfully. She likens it to the rhythm of the wedding march. She smiles up at the sun, the fields, the rivulets that fly past. 9. Clyde is sitting in a dark corner of the compartment. He is quite near the engine, and its roar, its hiss and the chime of its bells fill him with dread -- their sounds appear dark and sinister to him -- and in their rhythm he can only hear the awful word "Kill -- Kill --" 10. The rhythm of the wedding march, the joyous beat, struggles with the rhythm of death. "Kill -- Kill --" beats the engine to Clyde. Full of hope is the rhythm to Roberta. The conflict rises, the tension grows faster, faster -- until, suddenly -- 11. A long and piercing whistle of the engine. The rhythm ceases and the train stops at a station. Clyde gets out of the first carriage. Roberta gets out of the last one. By different paths they leave the station, and meet in a deserted alley, where there are no passers-by. 12. Clyde smiles, and the artificial, difficult smile makes his face look like a mask. Roberta is radiant, and trustingly she approaches him. "We could get married here. There's a mission down the street. What do you think?" asks Roberta. And Clyde listens to her, and in listening he hears the voice of the preacher at the mission. The cadences intoned are as the singsong of the mission of his youth, and as he listens it changes to the singing of a hymn, and the thin voices of bystanders take it up as in his youth, and this fills him at once with a great shame and disgust and the desire to move further away. "No, let's wait till Sharon, after we've been to the lakes," he answers. And Roberta is so happy she does not think of opposing him, nor does his conduct seem peculiar to her, and she follows him. 13 A large bus is travelling along a wooded road, it slows down at the turns and enters second gear as it goes up the hills. 14. Roberta and Clyde are sitting side by side in the bus. Roberta is bright with joy and, even in her simple costume, looks like a bride on her way to the altar. Clyde's face is also smiling, but his knees tremble and he is unable to calm himself. The bus conductor approaches with the tickets. Clyde purchases two, exactly counting his money. 15. The bus plunges into a deep forest. Its wheels cross the quick-running streams, its noise frightens the young rabbits and chipmunks as they run across the road, its horn echoes loud in the forest. 16. The bus conductor asks him: "First time here?" But Clyde, in his nervousness, is unable to answer. "Yes, we're here for the first time," Roberta answers for him. "Going to the lake at Big Bittern?" asks the conductor. And suddenly Clyde breaks into the conductor's question, apparently for no reason at all. "Tell me, are there many people there today?" And, having asked this strange question, Clyde, embarrassed, does not hear the conductor's answer to it. 17 The surface of Big Bittern. Pools of the inky black surface of the silent water. The dark reflection of the pines. Boats trembling on the motionless surface of the water. Their gunwales against a rude landing stage at the foot of steps rising to the small hotel. The beautiful panorama of the lake. 18. Standing by the landing stage are Clyde and Roberta. They have just descended from the bus. "How pretty -- how beautiful it is!" exclaims Roberta. Suddenly the hotel proprietor appears from behind the bus. Sprung into view as if by magic, he busily praises the weather, greets his guests. Clyde notices that there are few people about and none to be seen upon the lake. Too late, he notices that the proprietor, praising his kitchen, has taken his grip from him and that Roberta is following the proprietor into the hotel. He makes a movement as if to get the grip back, but thinks better of it, and with a strange, hypnotised step, follows them. 19. Open, the white pages of the hotel register stare threateningly at him. Clyde grows paler; setting himself, he signs a fictitious name -- Carl Golden -- keeping his initials (C.G.) and adding and wife. Roberta, noting this, feels a pang of joy that she hides before those in the hotel. "It's very hot. I'll leave my hat and jacket here -- we'll be coming back early," says Roberta and she leaves both on a hanger in the hall. 20. Losing his head and ignoring these incidents, Clyde takes his grip from the surprised proprietor and goes towards the boat stand. As he places the grip in a boat, he explains to the man: "We have our lunch in it." Too preoccupied to note a remark by the boatman, he helps Roberta in and, taking hold of the oars, pulls off from the shore. 21. Thick pine forests line the shore, and behind them are to be seen the tops of the hills. The water of the lake is calm and dark. "What peace, what tranquillity" -- says Roberta. Rowing, then stopping, Clyde listens to this silence, looks about him. There is no one around. 22. As the boat glides into the darkness of the lake, so Clyde glides into the darkness of his thoughts. Two voices struggle with him -- one: "Kill -- kill!" the echo of his dark resolve, the frantic cry of all his hopes of Sondra and society; the other: "Don't -- don't kill!" the expression of his weakness and his fears, of his sadness for Roberta and his shame before her. In the scenes that follow, these voices ripple in the waves that lap from the oars against the boat; they whisper in the beating of his heart; they comment, underscoring, upon the memories and alarums that pass through his mind; each ever struggling with the other for mastery, first one dominating, then weakening before the onset of its rival. They murmur as he pauses on his oars to ask: "Did you speak to anyone in the hotel?" "No. Why do you ask?" "Nothing. I thought maybe you might have met someone." 23. The voices shudder as Roberta smiles and shakes her head in answer, playfully letting her hand fall into the water. "It isn't cold," she says. Clyde stops rowing and also feels the water. But his hand springs back as though it had received an electric shock. 24. As he photographs her, they preoccupy him. While they picnic, or pick water lilies, they possess him. As he jumps ashore a moment to put down his grip, they rise and torment him. 25. "Kill -- kill," and Roberta, happy, freshened by her faith in him, is radiant with the joy of living. "Don't kill -- don't kill," and as the boat drifts almost soundlessly by the dark pines and Clyde's face is racked by the struggle within him, there rises the long-drawn-out booming cry of a water bird. 26. "Kill -- kill" triumphs and there passes through his mind the memory of his mother. "Baby -- baby" comes his childhood and as "Don't kill -- don't kill" rises he hears "Baby boy -- baby boy" in the so different voice of Sondra, and at the image of Sondra and the thought of all that surrounds her "Kill -- kill" grows harder and insistent, and with the thought of Roberta importunate it grows still harsher and shriller, and then the face of Roberta now, aglow with faith in him and her great relief, and the sight of the hair he has so loved to caress and "Don't -- don't kill" grows and tenderly supplants the other and now is calm and firm and final. Ending the conflict. Sondra is lost forever. Never, never now will he have the courage to kill Roberta. 27. And we see Clyde as he sits in blank despair and the misery of renunciation. He raises his face from his hands. An oar drags in the water. In his left hand he holds the camera. And Clyde's face is so wild with misery and so stricken by the struggle that has passed behind it that Roberta crawls anxiously towards him and takes his hand in hers. 28. Clyde opens his eyes suddenly and sees near him her anxious, tender face. With an involuntary movement of revulsion he pulls back his hand and jumps up quickly. As he does so the camera, quite accidentally, strikes her in the face. Roberta's lip is cut; she cries out and falls back in the stern of the boat. "I'm sorry, Roberta, I didn't mean to," and he makes a natural movement towards her. Roberta is afraid. She tries to get up, loses her balance, and the boat oversets. 29. Once more rings out the long-drawn booming cry of the bird. The overset boat floats slowly on the surface of the water. Roberta's head appears above the surface. Clyde comes up. His face showing terrible fright, he makes a movement to help Roberta. Roberta, terrified by his face, gives a piercing cry and, splashing frantically, disappears under the water. Clyde is about to dive down after her, but he stops, and hesitates. 30. And a third time the long-drawn booming cry of the faraway bird. On the mirror-like calmness of the water floats a straw hat. The wilderness of forest, the motionless hills. Dark water barely lapping against the shore. 31. A noise of water is heard and Clyde is seen swimming to the shore. Reaching it, he first lies down upon the earth, then slowly sits up, forgetting to lift one foot out of the water. Gradually he begins to shiver, the shivering increases, he pales and makes a familiar gesture, that gesture that he makes when frightened or suffering. He shrinks into himself and hides his head in his shoulders. He notices the foot in the water and lifts it out. He begins to think, and with that, stops trembling. And the voice of his thought: "Well, Roberta is gone -- as you desired -- and you didn't kill her -- an accident -- liberty -- life --" And then very low, tenderly, as if whispering into his ear, the voice says: "Sondra." And Clyde closes his eyes. And in the darkness: "Sondra." Her laughter and her tender voice. "Sondra." 32. Clyde is feverishly clothing himself in the dry suit from his grip. Into the grip he packs the soaked suit, and then, getting up from his knees, he stretches to his full height, standing in the rays of the setting sun. 33. The sun hides behind the hills, behind the forest. The reflection vanishes from the lake, and all becomes darker and darker. 34. Through the increasing dread of the darkling forest, Clyde is making his way, his grip in his hand. He starts, alarmed by every noise, he is frightened by the cries of the night birds, he fears the moonlight penetrating between the thick branches of the trees, he fears his own shadow and the shadows of the fantastic forest. He desires to see the time on his watch in the moonlight, but, when the lid is opened, water falls from it and he finds out that it has stopped. He plunges ever deeper into the thickening darkness of the forest, when, as he stumbles from behind a massive tree trunk, he comes suddenly upon three distorted gigantic obscure figures of men. Yet more suddenly a lantern flashes out upon him. In its beam his face shows the extremity of terror, fixed with the horror of the damned. A boy's voice calls cheerily: "Hello," but, without giving himself time to realise the lack of menace in it, he plunges frantically into the brushwood. The light is extinguished, but not before its movement has given us a fleeting glimpse of peaceful creels and fishing rods. While the trampling of Clyde's feet, the cracking of twigs, hurriedly grows ever distant and more distant, as he vanishes in the blackness of the night. SLOW FADE OUT REEL 11 1. The prows of motorboats. The prows of motorboats filling the screen as they dash past throwing up clouds of spray. Bright sunlight -- glittering water -- happy songs -- the sound of banjoes and harmonicas -- laughter, shouting and the sound of the engines of motorboats. A small fleet of motorboats, with bunting gaily flying, cuts through the water. The boats leave behind them a foaming track. In the boats are young people; in bathing costumes, singing, laughing, playing. 2. On the deck of one of the boats Sondra is lying. Clyde, in white, sits by her side. Sondra's attitude is the incarnation of serene, carefree happiness. Clyde is gloomy; weighed down by terrible oppression, he is trying to appear normal, but his thoughts are elsewhere. Sondra sits up. For a moment she forces herself to be serious. She says gently: "You haven't been yourself, Clyde. All yesterday and today." Then she bends forward and whispers: "I know why you're worried. You're embarrassed about money. Please don't tell me about it. Just take this. I've got it ready specially for you." And she presses into his hand a small folded roll of dollar bills. Clyde categorically shakes his head in refusal, but Sondra stops him by kissing him, and, profiting by the moment, slips the money into his pocket. With an effort, Clyde is trying to take the opportunity to shake off his depression. They are engrossed in each other. 3. A young man playfully rocks the motorboat from side to side, and water pours in over the gunwale. Neither Sondra nor Clyde notices the water. A shrill girl's voice screams out in mock fright: "You crazy fellow, do you want to drown us?" This sudden scream startles Clyde off his balance. He pales and tries to keep his eyes away from everyone. A young man calls from another boat: "By the way, has anyone read yesterday's papers?" Clyde becomes tense, he raises himself on one elbow. The two boats run parallel. The young man reads out loud from the paper. His reading fluctuates, as the relative level of the boat fluctuates. "Two persons rowing on the south side of Big Bittern were drowned yesterday. The body of the girl has been recovered, but up to a late hour last night the body of the man had not been found. Someone asks: "Anyone we know?" Clyde's head is spinning, the sounds around him grow chaotic and only the throb of the engine accompanies the throbbing of his heart. He lets himself fall back on a cushion by Sondra's side. "What has happened to my boy? Why is he so pale?" Sondra asks of him, as she strokes his hair. 4. The two boats are joined by others that try to outrace them. Happy shouts of excitement, and all aboard concentrate on the effort of the race. The first boat cuts into the sandy shore, and everyone on board topples one into the other. Noisily, with exaggerated complaint, they get into the shallow water and clamber ashore. Boat after boat lands on the island. 5. It is evening -- and on the sandy shore a camp has been built. Tents have sprung up -- great fires have been lit -- and the whole young crowd is merry and sentimental. The camp makes one think of Indians and the flares of the fires are reflected in the night water. Clyde and Sondra are sitting together on the shore. They are kissing each other and have forgotten all else in their own happiness. They are part of a group round an immense fire. The night is warm and this, combined with the warmth of the fire, has enabled the party to keep on their bathing suits. At one end of the group a chorus of gay voices is singing an harmonious song, and the song re-echoes faraway along the lake and in the surrounding forest. And as on the occasion of their first intimacy, during the talk in Sondra's kitchen -- The burning logs splutter, and numerous sparks fly up into the air towards the stars. The gloaming, the flittering firelight, the nearness of Sondra, combine to lull Clyde into a sense of peace. The echoes of a new song float across the lake and off into the woods. Sondra and Clyde kiss again. Keeping her head near to him, Sondra whispers.... At last she has come to a decision: "I've made up my mind, dear. Come what may, we shall run away, we'll run away together." 6. They stand up. Of a sudden, all his fears are reawakened. Realisation of what the morrow may bring floods back in full force. He stands cold, perplexed. Sondra leaning on his shoulder, her arm in his, they walk over to the outside of her tent. "Darling, says Sondra, and they embrace. Standing at the door of her tent, a long embrace, clasped in each other's arms and mouth on mouth. Clyde feels it is the last time he will ever kiss her. Sondra detaches herself and stoops into the tent. Clyde stands still for a fraction of a moment, then turns and stumbles frantically away, out of the firelight, into the further circle of the wood. His strength leaves him, and he lowers himself on the ground, resting rigid where he sits. 7. Dawn. His back against a tree, in the selfsame position, sits Clyde, sleeping. He stirs stiffly, his eyes open. A few paces away, his back also against a tree, leans a tall bony man with enormous whiskers and a large felt hat. His chin is resting on his chest. As Clyde stirs, the large man speaks. His voice is slow and calm: "Your name is Clyde Griffiths, I suppose." And as he speaks he holds an enormous revolver gently dangling. Clyde, rousing, looks desperately about him, at the paths, at the lake, at the revolver and, after a moment's reflection, says: "Yes, that's my name." The man raises the revolver and shoots in the air. Clyde is still. The man is listening. Faraway comes the sound of an answering shot. 8. Two young men, bathing in the water at this early hour, pause. One says: "Hey, listen to the guys shooting game out of season." 9. "Fine, Mr. Griffiths. Excuse the revolver. My name is Kraut -- deputy sheriff of Cataraqui," says the tall man. He puts the revolver back in its holster and adds: "I have an order to arrest you." Clyde, inwardly sick, does his best to assume a surprised and disinterested expression: "I don't understand," he says. 10. A boat touches the shore not far below where they are standing. A man jumps out of it. A thick-set man who knows what he is about. Others follow him. 11. Clyde goes on: "But of course, if you have an order to arrest me. I will follow you, but I -- I don't understand." The thick-set, energetic man has approached, he seizes on Clyde's remark: "You don't, eh? And you don't know anything about a drowning on Big Bittern, do you, or Miss Roberta Alden of Biltz?" "No no," Clyde answers nervously, terrified at the question. "My name is Orville Mason. I represent the law," says the thick-set man, aggressively. In a barely audible voice, Clyde replies: "You're suspecting me of murder. I wasn't there ...." "And you never met three people, Thursday night, coming from Big Bittern, going towards the harbour three miles away?" says Mason. "No, sir, I wasn't there." The attorney takes one of Roberta's letters from his pocket, flourishes it in the air and waves it before Clyde. "And you don't know anything about it, eh? And this letter eh? Found in your trunk, among your belongings, in your room -- you don't deny it's a letter from Miss Alden, eh!" With a tremendous effort and outward calm, Clyde replies: "Yes, I knew Miss Alden, I don't deny that. But I had nothing to do with the drowning at Big Bittern, I wasn't there." At this, Mason, irritated beyond measure, exclaims: "Oh, very well then, you've decided not to talk, have you." And to Kraut: "Take him away." Kraut takes out a pair of handcuffs. "No, you don't need those. I'll follow you," says Clyde hastily. 12. Kraut takes a step down the path towards the camp. Clyde makes as if to follow him, but at the second step he pauses, rooted. Mason looks at Clyde, then at the camp and sizes up the situation: "Oho, so that's how the wind blows, is it? Too thin-skinned to be shown up before his lady and gentlemen friends. Well, there's nothing for it but to see if any of them know more about it than he does. Take him to the camp." Kraut puts his hand on Clyde's shoulder. Clyde struggles and says, "No, no, you don't need to take me down there." "Bring him along, boys," says Mason. Kraut grips Clyde. Mason approaches and thrusts his face towards Clyde: "Well then, suppose you answer some of my questions -- come clean and quick, and at once, or down there you go!" Clyde wilts and, his lips trembling, nervously admits: "It was an accident, that's all. I didn't kill her. I didn't turn the boat over." Mason puts his hands on his hips and exclaims: "Ah, now we're getting somewhere," and attacks him with a new question. 13. A sheriff's officer amid a group of young people in the camp. The young people are in various stages of early morning undress, some in sweaters after bathing, a girl in pyjamas with hair uncombed, and so forth. Steam rises from cooking utensils. The officer is explaining that they have come for Mr. Griffiths. 14. Sondra peeps out of her tent and overhears. She comes nearer. 15. The officer explains that the case is as clear as daylight, there's absolutely no doubt about it. They have letters from the dead girl, and letters from another girl too, which gave them the hint to follow him to the camp. 16. Sondra's eyes are open, she is frozen in horror. 17. Just beside the camp, not far from where they stand, Mason, and Kraut with his hand on Clyde's arm, are getting into a boat. 18. Sondra screams: "It's not true -- it couldn't be -- Oh, Clyde --" and, turning white, she faints. 19. The cry reaches Clyde, where he sits in the boat between two officers, opposite Mason. At the sound of it, he shuts his eyes and lowers his head. 20. There is a bustle of movement in the camp. A young man beside the unconscious Sondra says: "Well, that puts the lid on our party." 21. The boat with Mason and Clyde is small in the distance, speeding across the lake. Within it Mason is still attacking Clyde with questions. Clyde is still stubborn. 22. The camp is being dismantled. Tent pegs are uprooted, tents are coming down. 23. A private apartment in the hands of the police. In a distant corner of the kitchen, which has been transformed into a temporary morgue, the presence of the body of Roberta under an obscure linen sheet can be rather guessed than distinguished. Two doctors in black stand nearby it, having completed their postmortem. Titus Alden, the father of Roberta, stands, in set and savage grief, against the wall. Others are in the room. One doctor says to another: "The wounds on her face were not of sufficient depth to be fatal." Then the first doctor turns to Titus: "Was your daughter married, Mr. Alden?" "No, doctor, she wasn't -- why do you ask? ..." And from the expression of the doctor everyone realises that she was about to become a mother. 24. At this moment heavy footsteps sound in the corridor, the door opens and in comes Clyde, followed by the sheriff's officers and Mason, who goes over to the table. A gasp. All those who were within the room: Roberta's father, the assistants, the doctors, the secretaries turn and glare at Clyde. A murmur. Titus Alden rushes forward and raises his arm to strike Clyde, he is restrained. "Murderer!" he cries out. Mason is examining the evidence like a wolf upon a scent. At the sound, he half-turns, still intent upon his examination and calls to the officers: "Take him out of here." The door shuts behind Clyde and his escort. 25. Titus Alden steps into the centre of the room towards Mason and speaks in a low voice, desperately. At first Mason has his back turned to him, but as soon as he has heard a sentence he turns and listens with marked attention. The old man: "I want you, Mr. Mason, to punish the scoundrel. I want to see him suffer as my poor child was made to suffer. He killed her. I have no money to help prove it. But I will work. I'll sell my farm." Mason has risen and now stands majestically before the father; speaking to him but in reality addressing the crowd behind him, he pronounces: "Go home, Mr. Alden. I promise you, as the representative of the law in this country, that no time or money or energy on my part will be spared to bring this crime home to the murderer and to see that he reaps his just reward. And you won't need to sell your farm, either." A member of the crowd calls enthusiastically: "You are right, Mr. Attorney. You're the kind of judge we all need." And several persons approach Mason and shake his hand, saying: "You must have greater authority, Mr Mason. We shall do all in our power to see you get it." Slapping him on the back and encouraged by Mason's smiles, the people leave the room. 26. Mason is left with his assistants and detectives. They go to a cupboard and bring out milk and sandwiches, talking among themselves as they do so. An assistant says to Mason: "This case will be the making of you Mr. Mason. You'll walk away with the fall election for judge." "You mustn't speak like that, Fred," says Mason. "We mustn't mix up politics with things like this, but of course fate can be very convenient." He wipes his mouth and puts down the milk glass. "To work," he says and goes out of the room. 27. Only one of the detectives now remains in the room. He is a thin man with a lugubrious countenance. He approaches Roberta, pulls a corner of the sheet off her face and admires her beauty. He passes his hand over her hair, looks long at it, and something like a tear seems to glisten in his eye. With one finger he plays with a curl, then, he severs it with a knife and tucks it away reverently into his pocketbook. As he leaves the room, he turns out the light. REEL 12 1. Gilbert lifts his head from the newspaper, curls his lips in a sneer and says: "I said so -- I said so." 2. In the factory, the girls who worked with Clyde are reading another newspaper, and in this paper is a portrait of Clyde, and, in headlines, the news of his arrest. 3. On the tennis court, friends of Clyde's are reading a third newspaper, and in this one too there is a portrait of him, and the details of his arrest. 4. Gilbert, having read another article on the same subject, hands the paper to his mother. She glances at Clyde's portrait in it and hands it to her husband. He lets the paper fall onto his knees and, turning to Mr. Smillie, the advising attorney to his firm, says: "What can you do about it?" Smillie, a little old man, quiet with quick movements. Next to him is Katchuman, important looking, in a frock suit, with a dull face, and brilliantined hair. The family conference of the Griffiths is taking place in the hall of their luxurious home. Piles of newspapers are heaped about the place, on chairs and on carpets, and on the first page of each is Clyde's portrait, the family name Griffiths and the dreadful word arrest. Samuel Griffiths speaks, with his usual slight self- importance: "If he be innocent, he shall have every possible aid in proving himself so, but if he be guilty I have no wish to aid him in any way." Smillie talks: "As far as I have been able to find out, it will be very difficult to prove his innocence. All the circumstances are against him." Katchuman rises importantly and, with the expression of genius making a fundamental contribution to human knowledge, makes a proposition: "There is one certain way of extricating him from this case. We must prove him insane --" "You mean mad?" asks the frightened Mrs. Griffiths looking at Gilbert. Katchuman answers: "Yes, mad, if you like." "No, I will never allow that. There has never been any madness in our family, and we do not desire that there should be!" says Mr. Griffiths. Katchuman helplessly gestures with his hands, as he sits down on his chair. An awkward pause. Then Smillie makes a suggestion. He points out that the prosecuting attorney is running for office in the next elections and is sure to endeavour to use the case to advance his political career. If strong political opponents of his can be obtained, they can be relied on to spare no effort to discover the truth. And he knows two such men. They are Belknap and Jephson. "And how much will that cost," asks Gilbert ironically. And from the haughty, ironical face of Gilbert -- 5. -- We turn to the bewildered, harassed face of Clyde -- a replica in feature but so different in expression -- with bars across it, in the prison. He sits in his cell and, as he sits, in some degree exposed by the light of the window, a stream of curious visitors passes, staring from the greater shadow of the corridor. Different people look at him with different eyes. Some with pity, others sadly, others smile at him, others again ask him about his health, want to know his age, to know about his parents. Some ask him what psalms he sings in the evening, does he go to church, does he think of God. All, all are selfish. Three girls titter and ask: "Was there another girl in it?" A psychologist taps the bars to make him jump and notes the reactions in a notebook. These constant stares and questions annoy Clyde. He nervously and ungraciously gives his answers, turns away from the pitying looks, and hides his head in his hands. By the opposite wall stand two men. They watch the visitors, listen to their questioning and, dissatisfied with Clyde's behaviour, shake their heads .... They are Belknap and Jephson. Presently the corridor grows deserted, but the men do not come out of their hiding place. Clyde, seeing that he is alone, throws himself onto his bunk, and is shaken with sobs. Now one of the men approaches his cell, looks at him, gestures to the guard to open the cell up for him. The man throws away his finished cigarette, and, taking off his hat, enters the cell. He sits down on the edge of the bunk, and slapping Clyde on the back, says kindly: "Come, come now --" Clyde turns his surprised and tear-stained face to him. The man speaks: "Hello, Clyde, my name is Belknap. Your Uncle Griffiths has entrusted me with your defence. You and I must be friends." The kind words calm Clyde, and he stops shivering, rises on the bed. The defence attorney continues: "And listen -- you must be more courteous to visitors, it is important for you." The second man has come over close beside the cell, listening. Clyde pulls nervously at his cigarette. Belknap stops him, takes the cigarette away, and just as kindly continues: "You must not smoke now, that also is very important. And you must attend church regularly." And like a father, he strokes Clyde's hair. "And now, dear friend, tell me the whole truth." Clyde turns his trusting face to him. FADE OUT 6. The exultant Mason sits in his study, surrounded by newspaper men, photographers, artists and secretaries. He opens the drawer of his desk, where two bundles of letters are lying -- one tied with string the other with ribbon, on them are initials. Mason takes the second bundle, puts it before him, plays with the ribbon, and, having awakened the interest of the reporters, says mysteriously: "Tomorrow -- I will read these letters to you, they'll be a sensation." The reporters, journalists and photographers rise from their places. "And today," says Mason, "I will read you these." -- and he takes a letter from the first package. Dear Clyde, it was hard for me to come here by myself, but it is very lovely here. The trees are all green, and everything is in bloom. I can hear the buzzing of the bees under my window. 7. Mason's study disappears, and its place on the screen is taken by the quiet home of Roberta's family. Her mother, still more stooped, yet more bowed, is washing the laundry on a porch as old as the whole house. The same journalists who were in Mason's study surround Roberta's mother, photograph her, sketch her, question her and jot down in their notebooks her clumsy, peasant answers. They are interviewing her for their papers. 8. Clyde's mother is singing a prayer surrounded by the congregation of her mission. And while we hear their voices, to the door of the mission are seen approaching photographers and reporters. They place their cameras, check their fountain pens. The prayer is finished. The mother lifts her hands to heaven in the last words of the psalm; as she does so she is illumined and the magnesium flashes of the photographers embarrass the congregation. They stop singing, and leave looking suspiciously at the journalists. The newspaper men surround the woman preacher, and rain questions at her. She speaks of Clyde as of her good little boy, as of a child, as of her son. From out of an old cardboard folder, in which she keeps documents and souvenirs, she brings out old photographs of Clyde in his childhood days, and as a youth. The men are interested in a photograph taken of the whole family on the street while singing psalms and preaching. 9. And as soon as this photograph falls into the reporter's hands, a printing press is seen turning out copy after copy of it, and soon thousands of copies are to be seen pouring out of the machines. 10. A page of the newspaper full screen size is to be seen, with this photograph in it. The newspaper is lowered, and Sondra takes her eyes away from it. My Clyde is a good boy is written in heavy print under the photograph in the paper. Crying, in tears, Sondra drops her head onto the paper. It lies on the carpet on the floor, and Sondra lies on it. Over Sondra stands her father, worried, perturbed and nervous. "How could you write to him? Why didn't you tell us of your stupidity sooner?" Sondra sobs. Sondra can say nothing. "A scandal, a scandal," says her father, as he goes to the telephone, looks long at the dial and, while Sondra sobs, dials a number. 11. Somewhere in the sleeping city in the night a telephone bell is heard to ring. In one of the houses the windows are seen to light as the lamp inside is turned on. And the voice through the telephone can be heard. "It must be seen to that the name of our family is not brought into the papers. You have pull. Please see to this." And another telephone bell rings over the city, and in another house the lights go on, and again there is a conversation in which the request is made that Sondra's name and the name of Finchley should not appear in the case. And still some telephone bells over the city and several similar conversations. And as the scene continues, the houses become more and more luxurious and larger and larger. The last light is turned on in the house grandest of all, and from this house can be heard the wanted promise. 12. Mason is pulling up the blinds in his study -- the morning light pours in. The newspaper men are waiting in an agony of anticipation.... Mason comes up to the desk, and takes out the bundle of Sondra's letters. He unties the ribbon holding the letters together, opens the first letter, with his finger passes over the initials embossed on the letterhead, smiles, with his eyes goes over all the tense, concentrated men, then takes a deep breath in order to start the reading, but a telephone bell interrupts him. "Excuse me," Mason says, and he listens to the indistinguishable murmurings coming out of the receiver. His face becomes serious. "I understand, I understand," Mason says into the phone. "Yes, sir, it will be done," and, bewildered, he hangs the receiver back. "Excuse me," he says to the newspaper men once more, and ties the bundle of letters up again with the ribbon. The journalists look at each other in amazement, and Mason, to get out of an uncomfortable spot, explains: "I am sorry, but I shall have to disappoint you. These documents, by instruction of higher authorities in the interests of the case, are to be considered confidential, and if they are required as evidence their author will be named Miss X. Q." and his hand puts the letters back into the drawer, and locks it. 13. Sondra's father sighs with relief, and the sigh is repeated by Sondra. The summer residents are closing their houses, the season has broken. Everywhere are to be seen moving vans, packed with trunks and travelling cases. The shutters are closed -- the gates are locked -- the blinds are pulled down and the watchmen take their places. Sondra, in a dark veil, gets into the limousine between her father and mother. Along the wet rain-soaked road, spattering mud, the car moves off. The reporters come, and come up to the gates of the summer residence, and look, disappointed, at the disappearing cars.... The barking of the watchdogs is to be heard behind in the grounds, and a large lock hangs on the gates of the estate. And the locks on the gates. 14. And on the lake, on the spot where Roberta drowned, it is raining too. The detective with the lugubrious expression is sitting in a boat, under an umbrella, watching two youths as they dive into the water, searching for something. 15. Rain is falling in the village cemetery too, and, to the grave marked Roberta Alden, its gears rattling and hooting its horn, splashing through the mud, comes up a truck. The workmen, in raincoats, with hoods over their heads, throw out their shovels, and sighing and groaning get out of the truck. Along the cemetery pathway, their collars up and under umbrellas, walking gingerly on the autumn leaves, Belknap and Jephson approach. They are talking to each other. "I don't believe this opening-up of Roberta's grave will help in any way," Belknap tells Jephson. "Yes, but we have to do this for the moral effect," interrupts Jephson. "We must do everything we can to postpone the beginning of the trial so as to prevent Mason using it to his advantage in the coming elections." They approach Roberta's grave, where the workmen are preparing their tools. 16. And on the lake, under the umbrella in the boat, the detective sits and watches the diving boys. The despairing youths dive in again. With tired eyes, the detective watches the increasing circles of water. And suddenly, from out of the water, a hand comes up with a camera in it. The detective jumps up, throws down the umbrella, and forgets about the rain. The boy swims up to the boat, and hands the camera to the detective. 17. At the grave, under the umbrellas stand groups. The grave is being dug up. Jephson, Belknap, three doctors, police officers. The grave is half dug open, and from the hole spadefuls of earth fall with a wet thud onto the soil. Jephson and Belknap, against the background of these wet thuds and the pit-pat of the rain, are talking. Jephson has devised a plan. He declares that the safest possible defence and the one that would best fit Clyde's own suspicious actions would be that he had never contemplated murder. "Listen," he says. "He goes up there with her, frightened, and not to marry her or to kill her but to get her to agree to go away." With wet thuds, the earth is ever being thrown up out of the grave. Jephson is eager, his idea allures him. "But once up there, and he sees how sick she is, and tired, and sad -- he experiences a change of heart." Belknap is not altogether convinced. "Why? For what reason?" Jephson catches him up: "But why? Why? Do you want to know why? I'll tell you! He felt sorry for her, see, and he wanted to marry her, or at least he wanted to do the right thing by her at the very last there." Belknap is grudging. The pit-pat of the rain pours down. The wet earth is being flung from the grave by the constant motion of the spades. "But it fits everything. First he wants a quiet place where they can sit and talk." "Ye -- es." This slowly. "So they go out on the lake." "Yes." "And he begins to tell her about how he loves the other girl but will marry her if she still wants him to." "I see." "And she does want him." "Yes." "And he agrees." "Sure." "And she's so grateful that in her excitement, or gratitude, she jumps up." "Yes." "And that's what makes the boat rock." Jephson looks at Belknap. Belknap whistles between his teeth. "And now he could either have the camera in his hand or not, just as we wanted him." "I see what you're driving at." "And then whether he has it or hasn't, a misstep or just the motion of both of them causes them to go over and he strikes or not, as you think fit, but accidentally of course." "Yes, I see and I'll be damned," exclaims Belknap enthusiastically. "Fine, excellent, Reuben. Wonderful really." The rain patters, the spades delve, the wet sods and the fresh-turned earth melt in the raindrops. "Anyway," says Jephson, mopping his forehead, "I don't see how we can find a better. That's his story and we must coach him in it. It might get him off with twenty years at the worst." The doctors approach nearer to the grave, and look down. "Good luck," says Belknap. FADE OUT 18. "This is your Bible," Jephson is telling Clyde, sitting with him in the cell. "This is the list of questions which you must learn by heart, and which you must answer the judge, as I shall teach you." He smooths the sheet of paper out on the bed. On it, numbered, are the questions. Both bend over the pages. 19. On the edge of Mason's desk, stands the camera found in the lake. The man who brought it, reverently extracts from his pocket his pocketbook, and takes out of it the strand of hair cut from Roberta's head. He looks at the camera, he looks at the hair, meditatively gazing. Satisfied, Mason is rubbing his hands together.... 20. Roberta's mother is sitting on the ramshackle porch of her house weighed down by grief. 21. In the empty mission sits the suffering mother of Clyde. 22. Roberta's mother looks at a picture of a young girl, happy and carefree. 23. Clyde's mother is looking at his picture. He looks youthful and innocent. 24. The attorney Mason opens a brief case, in which are lying photographs taken of each other by Roberta and Clyde on the day of her death and now extracted from the recovered camera. He brings the photographs of the two nearer together, gives a self-satisfied wink to his secretaries, hides the photographs back in the brief case and pats it with his hand, as he says: "This will be a sensation." REEL 13 1. In the autumn wind, the naked boughs of the trees are trembling... it sweeps and whirls dead leaves along the pavements... stirs the water in the fountain, around which people are sitting... and on its wings we hear the cry of newsboys yelling out their news, and selling copies of small booklets.... "Get the story of Clyde Griffiths, with all the letters of Roberta Alden, only twenty-five cents. The whole murder story." Before the court building, a large crowd of farmers, arrived for the trial. 2. In the courtroom filled with people is Mason (the attorney) and his assistants on their seats. The old judge takes his place. A small fellow on the left side of the tribunal cries out in a thin, little voice: "Oyez! Oyez! All persons having business before the honourable the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Cataraqui, draw near and give attention. The court is now in session." The movement of the crowds quietens in the courtroom and everyone becomes concentrated. And the same little man gets up again, and pronounces: "The State of New York against Clyde Griffiths." Clyde as seen by his attorneys, nervous and hunted. Mason gets up, and says: "The People are ready." Belknap stands up, bows gracefully, and says: "The defence is ready." Jephson bends over to Clyde, and calmly tells him: "Whenever you feel weak or nervous, look at me, and do not forget what I told you, and what you have to do, and what you have to say. Look at me." 3. A crowd of people who have been unable to enter the courtroom, is milling on the pavement outside. "Full murder story -- twenty-five cents." -- sound the voices of the newsboys. A lottery bowl is turning, and hands are taking out of it slips of paper with the names of the jurors. "Simeon Dinsmore." -- a clerk calls out the name on the paper. A small, hunched man, resembling a ferret, goes to the jurors' bench, and sits down. Mason, looking aggressive, in a loud voice asks Dinsmore questions: "How old are you? Married? How many children?" The answers to each of these are mumbled perfunctorily. "Do you believe in capital punishment?" Clyde shivers, and the man, who looks like a ferret, looks at him and shoots out with emphasis: "I most certainly do -- for some people." "With the consent of the Court, the People will excuse the talesman," -- says Mason, who feels this is a little too emphatic. The judge glances at Belknap and grants the request. "Foster Lund." -- cries out the clerk, and a tall, dried up individual gets up and goes to the jurors' bench. "Who are you?" asks Mason. "Foster Lund and Son, suppliers of cement, plaster and bricks." But for Lund, the long jurors' bench is empty. FADE OUT 4. In the darkness, Mason's voice is heard: "Gentlemen, it has been no light matter to find twelve men who could weigh the marshalled facts of this astonishing case with all the fairness and understanding that the law commands. Gentlemen, this care has been dictated only by one motive... that right should triumph. I have no prejudices, no aforethoughts." And under his words, from out of the darkness, we fade in on three persons, and by means of four cuts -- to twelve stolid, iron individuals. "Gentlemen, the life and death of this man is in your hands." Clyde shrinks under the gaze of twelve enormous, sunburnt, merciless-looking farmers. Twelve huge men, looking as if carved out of wood, sit on the jurors' bench. Mason begins his accusations, speaking with importance. The State of New York accuses Clyde Griffiths of having deliberately thought out and planned the cruel murder of, and of having finally drowned, Roberta Alden, daughter of a farmer in the County of Mimiko. 5. Clyde looks out around the courtroom, and sees Roberta's family. He sees the father, a sorrowful old man, he sees her grief-stricken mother, and then suddenly his eyes open wide, and his hands clutch the arms of his chair. He sees Roberta sitting between her mother and father, a veil of mourning drawn over her pale face. "That's her sister -- that must be her sister," whispers Clyde, stealing a glance at Jephson. Then, nerveless, he drops lower in his chair. 6. "The State of New York will produce before you substantiations of every one of these charges. You will be given facts, and of these facts, you, not I, are to be the sole judge." Mason continues, and he starts telling his gruesome story, bringing out the highlights in sinister and dreadful colours. And under his majestic declamation, short scenes of what he is relating flash on the screen. In endless contre-danse, each is preceded by the stony face of its witness, seated in the court. Roberta's friend: And we see her watching Clyde and Roberta float by her on the boat the day of their first meeting. Roberta's landlady: And we see her as she thrusts her head out of the door to get rid of the yelping little dog, the day Roberta called out after the disappearing and angry Clyde. The three druggists: And their refusal to comply with Clyde's wish. The haberdasher: And Clyde's consultation with him. The doctor: And his lecture to Roberta. The conductor of the autobus: And the questions of Clyde. The hotel proprietor: And Clyde and Roberta are in the boat. The three men in the wood: And the lantern flashing in the darkness. A Chinese cook: And he looks from his tent upon Clyde and Sondra's passionate kiss. All these scenes pass beneath the accompaniment of Mason's words, each taking on a sombre hue. A different lighting, a different composition, and though to all appearances the same, yet in the movements and in the actions it is a different Clyde. 7. "Not only did he kill her, he made her suffer -- long and in dreadful agony. Listen to the documents that bear witness to this suffering." Mason takes out of his brief case a bundle of letters, and picking one from them, starts to read: "Letter No. 1 -- 3rd July of this year --" "The defence protests against this illegal playing on the emotions," says Belknap, jumping up. "Who is leading this prosecution?" Mason wants to know of Belknap. Then Belknap smiles, and with a movement of his hands, answers: "The candidate for judge, who will be chosen at the approaching elections if he can make himself popular enough at this trial." Mad with rage, Mason interrupts Belknap and hurls an insult at him and Clyde. Belknap at once demands that an apology be tendered to himself and the defendant before the trial is continued. There is nearly a battle, but Judge Oberwaltzer forces them to apologize to one another. They control their rage, and officially make the necessary excuses. The Judge approves Mason continuing to read the letter:-- 8. Clyde, if I could only die. That would solve all this. And I have prayed and prayed that I would, lately, yes I have. For life does not mean as much to me now as when I first met you and you loved me. Oh, those happy days! If only things were different. If only I were out of your way. The sun sets. Its low rays fall through the large windows of the courtroom, effectively lighting Mason as he reads. The people, affected, wipe the tears from their eyes, little old ladies put up their handkerchiefs, the old men are shaking their heads in sign of horror. But all sit still, keeping back their breath, giving way, as Mason reads, to the sentimental mood which has seized them. The sun has set. Behind the windows it is dark. In the courtroom, the lamp under its big shade has been lit, and Mason still continues reading the letters, which become ever more and more pathetic and despairing. And Roberta's mother, unable to withstand the strain any longer, gives a low cry, and falls in a faint. The sister and father hastily bend over her. Mason, taking a deep breath, says solemnly and distinctly: "The People rest." He sits down -- the screen grows faint, and in the darkness can be heard the ever fainter noise of the people. 9. And when the screen fades in once more, we can see slow, flaky snow falling behind the windows, and this snow carpets the roofs of the houses, the bare boughs of the trees, the streets.... And reflecting this white snow, a ghost-like white light fills the courtroom, and in this light, whiter than usual, is Clyde. In a white, blank voice, the defence is finishing its speech -- "If I were not positive, to the very depths of my being of his innocence, I should not spend hours here trying to convince you of it. He has been called a criminal, a bearded man steeped in crime seducing an innocent girl. Take a look at him, gentlemen, this twenty-year-old-boy accused of the murder of a girl who, when he met her, was twenty-three. And did he kill her? No! And again No! And in order that you may be convinced I propose to produce before you the only living eyewitness, one who was actually present and hence knows how she met her death." The crowd starts moving, whispering, concentrated. Everyone cranes forward. And Belknap continues as easily as before: "Clyde Griffiths, take the witness chair." Disappointed, the people look darkeningly in the courtroom. The whispering dies off and the crowd sits back. 10. And the heavy snow falls, falls evenly behind the courtroom windows. The thick locks of the farmers in the courtroom are silvered with frost. Jephson starts to examine Clyde, asking him questions to which he has taught him the answers. "How was it, if you thought so highly of her at first, that you could so soon afterwards descend to a relationship that all men -- and women also --" Here Jephson looks boldly round the courtroom -- "so justly deplore?" A murmur runs round the courtroom at the hinted irony. What a way to speak! Trying to remember what he has been taught, Clyde answers: "Well, I didn't try to seduce her any time, really. I was in love with her." Jephson: "Very much?" Clyde: "Yes, very much." Jephson interrupts him: "So -- you loved her, but did you not think of marrying her, and strengthening your love by such a union?" "No -- I just only kind of felt that I never wanted her to leave me," slowly and uncertainly Clyde answers. "And yet so soon after this terrible accident you were with Miss X?" And Clyde: "Well, you see, sir, she's so beautiful, ever after seeing her I couldn't sort of think of Miss Alden in the same way." Belknap: "I see, you were infatuated by Miss X -- we might say, bewitched." 11. The faces of three girls in the audience. Their eyes are open wide, they sigh with sentiment. 12. Mason beside his assistants. He ejaculates: "So that's his line, is it?" 13. Jephson: "And yet, in spite of the charms of Miss X, you decided after all to marry Miss Alden?" And Clyde sees how all the heads are turned upon him, how the eyes of Roberta's father seem to bore into him. And Roberta's mother, her eyes dry with weeping, watching him. And Clyde, with difficulty, and a tremble in his voice, keeping his gaze fixed on Jephson, repeats the phrases learned so well. "Well, you see, when we met and she was so unhappy, and being together I sort of -- I -- I --" "Ah, I see," says Jephson -- "a change of heart." An elderly lady dabs her eyes with a handkerchief. "Well of all the bunk!" exclaims Mason. Someone looks round at him sharply. The faces of several members of the crowd are relaxed. But -- The twelve members of the jury sit, stone as ever. 14. The snow falls behind the windows in soft flakes, and the window becomes frosted, so that nothing can be seen through it. And the window becomes more and more frosted. Jephson is speaking: "Now Clyde, don't shade it or try to make yourself look any better or any worse. This girl is dead, and you may be eventually if these twelve gentlemen here finally so decide." (Clyde shivers.) "Tell me now, in the shadow of the electric chair, before all these people and before your God, did you strike Roberta Alden?" "I swear before God I did not." A grim face in the audience relaxing in doubt. "Nor throw her into the lake?" "I swear it. I did not." Sympathetic faces. A woman sobs. "You swear that it was an accident -- unpremeditated and undesigned by you?" "I do," lies Clyde. And even the face of Roberta's mother seems to show sympathy. But her father is ever fanatical. Jephson looks round condescendingly and announces: "The prosecution may take the witness." 15. Mason gets up like a bull to the charge. There is menace in his pause as he fixes his glance terrifyingly upon Clyde. "Griffiths," begins Mason, in a firm and masterful voice, "you told us just now that you had a camera with you on that lake?" "Yes, sir." "I don't suppose in your truthful and honest way you remember telling me at your first examination that you never had a camera?" "Yes, sir -- I remember that." "That was a lie, then?" "Yes, sir." And Mason's voice rises to a roar: "So, because you lied then, because you have lied again and again ever since this case opened, you expect to be believed now, do you?" The faces in the audience that had relaxed resume their hostility with a snap. The faces of the jury remain stone and impassive. Clyde shrinks and -- 16. -- at that moment we hear a voice, speaking with sincerity and agony. "Alone -- all alone -- Oh, Lord, help him." The voice booms out louder, and we can see the building of the familiar mission and the mother's heavy figure, praying on her knees. "You are alone, Clyde, quite alone. I should be by you. The Lord will not forsake us. You must have faith. 'If ye have faith -- as a grain of mustard seed, Ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall move; And nothing shall be impossible unto ye.' Oh, Lord, You know my madness and my sins are not hidden from You." Full of faith, strong with a religious strength, big and strong she raises her hands up to heaven; then falls face downwards on the wooden floor. 17. The large and furious Mason comes into the camera. He stops beside Clyde. Clyde is afraid of him. Clyde trembles. He is pale and sweating now, worn to rags. Behind Mason stands the lugubrious detective. Mason turns to him, and the man hands him the strand of hair that he cut off. The strand of hair. "Griffiths, you were intimate enough with Miss Alden to know the feel and colour of her hair fairly well, weren't you?" Mason passes the hair before Clyde's face. "Is that her hair?" Clyde looks questioningly at his defenders, sees their bewilderment, and stumblingly, says: "I think so. Maybe, yes. I don't know...." "Yes, that is her hair," roars Mason, "it came out of your camera. That same camera, gentlemen," Mason continues, "which he tried to hide at his first examination. And what does this hair prove, gentlemen, tangled in the camera? It proves that not only did he not try to rescue her, but that he struck her in the face with it, before throwing her in the water." Belknap leaps to his feet and, pulling out a hair from his own head and waving it, cries out: "A hair can prove nothing." Like a roar of thunder is to be heard the roar of the crowd, a mocking, contemptuous roar. Oberwaltzer hammers on his desk. 18. Mason comes even nearer to Clyde, and still more energetically questions him: "How much money did you have on you?" "About eighteen dollars" -- answers Clyde. Mason: "You are sure you had no more? Weren't you ready to run away afterwards?" Clyde: "No. Mason: "How then do you explain the one hundred and twelve dollars found on you at the time of your arrest?" In the courtroom is a tense silence of expectancy. And the only sound is the wail of a rising storm outside the windows. And in this silence, quietly, bewildered, Clyde gets tangled. "I -- I borrowed them -- later --" Mason: "Borrowed them? From whom?" Again the silence and again the wail of the storm. Clyde: "From -- from -- a friend." Mason: "His name?" Clyde: "I can't tell!" Together with the howling wind, through the courtroom can be heard the whisper of the crowd, from which one can make out the sense -- "Got him -- Got him --" Mason: "From whom?" A new wail from behind the windows. And suddenly Clyde grows bolder. He lifts his head, and hysterically cries out: "I won't tell." "How dare you, you urchin!" Mason yells, and lifting his hand, marches on Clyde. Confusion, many rise up from their seats. Oberwaltzer hammers on his table. 19. Mason subdues his anger, and businesslike, asks: "How much was the hire of your boat on the lake?" Clyde, not knowing what to say, tries to evade the question: "I -- I -- Mason: "The prosecution has full knowledge of all your expenditures and thriftiness in money --" Clyde: "Yes, my pay wasn't much." Mason: "Come, then, remember, how much was the hire of your boat?" A wearying pause. The suffering Clyde tries to recollect, and cannot: "I think -- it was thirty-five cents .... Yes, I remember -- thirty- five cents." Suddenly Mason knocks his fist on the railing, and cries out: "A lie! It was fifty!" And turning to the public, he says: "Get up, Mr. Sissel." From the crowd rises that same boatman who helped push their boat off the shore. "More than that," says Mason, "You never even asked him!" And again the mocking roar of the crowd echoes through the courtroom. Mason continues: "And why should you have asked? You had no intention of paying." "Ah... ah... ah...." is heard from the crowd, for it understands the trend of Mason's questioning. "You had murder in your heart!" dramatically concludes Mason. And suddenly, from the back row of the courtroom, a hoarse voice, the voice of a boxing M.C., cries out: "And when will you finish with this bird?" And another more thinly: "Hang him!" All Clyde's strength leaves him, and he drops back onto his seat. Judge Oberwaltzer hammers on his table. The police run up to the disturbers, and the yelling, the noise and the hammering die away in the FADE OUT 20. FADE IN The interior of a restaurant. In different corners of the restaurant three different groups are dining. In one corner, Judge Oberwaltzer looks at his watch, he is eating a vegetarian meal and has a book about gardening propped open before him. In another corner are Jephson and Belknap, and in a third Mason with his detectives and secretary. "They've been hours on that verdict now," says Jephson, and through the window he looks at the building of the law courts. 21. In a smoke-filled room, twelve jurymen, weary, perspiring and silent, deliberate on the verdict. 22. Mason is reading a newspaper while gulping hot soup, and all his assistants and detectives keep showing him various articles out of various papers about the progress of the elections, carrying the news of the discomfiture of his rivals. The lugubrious detective says: "As a matter of fact, it doesn't much matter now what the verdict is." Mason interrupts him, lifting his eyes from the paper: "You forget about justice, Mr.--" "That's right, that's right," says a second man. "We forget we have before us no longer Mr. Attorney Mason, but Mr. Justice Mason!" 23. And in the smoky room where the jurors are, Foster Lund, at the head of them, asks a man standing in front of him: "And against all our opinions, you still maintain he's not guilty?" "Yes" -- answers the man -- --and the jurors whisper among themselves, pantomiming their annoyance. And in this whispering, the phrases can be heard: "Who? A dealer in hardware -- he's a personal friend of Jephson." "So," insists Lund, "you're positive?" And, slowly emphasising each word, he continues: "Perhaps you haven't considered the effect your opinion may have on your customers...." Lund hisses the last word. And, having understood the warning, the man becomes nervous, plays with the pencil in his hand, and sits down. Eleven focus their eyes on him, and under their gaze the man nods his head in sign of agreement. Then the supplier of cement, plaster and bricks goes to the door, and knocks against it with his heavy fist. Three times he knocks against it.... And the jurors rise heavily from their seats, and their heavy feet move along the soiled boards of the floor. 24. And the echo of these three knocks reaches the courtroom. And quickly feet are seen running along the parquet floor, newspapers are flung aside, chairs are moved -- napkins fall by the restaurant tables. People are taking their places in the courtroom; it is filling rapidly. The pale Clyde, and his defence encouraging him. Accompanied by newspaper men, artists and photographers, the Judge, Mason and the latter's suite of followers enter. 25. The clerk majestically opens the side door, and twelve heavy men stamp in. They come in soberly, their heads lowered, looking down on the floor, and, seeing this, Belknap whispers to Jephson: "It's all up ...." The jurors have sat down on their bench, in order to rise once again. Jephson whispers to Clyde: "Only don't let them see you're worried.... Keep going --" -- and then turning away from him, he bends over Belknap: "We might still get him twenty years." "Gentlemen, have you agreed upon your verdict?" "Yes, Your Honour," answers the foreman. "We find the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree." Clyde drops into his chair, and in his imagination "Yes" sounds in his ears eleven separate times as though in confirmation of the decision. Only the eleventh, a "Yes, yes" as though from the hardware dealer sounds out of tune with the others, coming a tiny bit too quickly and too eagerly. 26. And by degrees, as the human voices in the courtroom grow fainter, the noise on the square before the court building grows stronger, and when, out of the doors of the building, Mason appears, a thunderous "Hurrah" is heard, and greetings are roared out by the crowd. Mason is carried across the square on their shoulders. "Hurrah for justice!" -- "Hurrah for the new Judge!" -- "Hurrah for Mason!" 27. And in an empty room of the courthouse, from whence the joyous cries of the crowd can be heard, Clyde is dictating a telegram to Jephson. Mother, I have been found guilty. Come. Clyde. 28. And fresh yells are to be heard: "Hurrah for Orville!" -- "God is with you, Judge!" -- "Hurrah -- Hurrah -- Hurrah!" -- REEL 14 1. A train pulls into the dark station. The lonely figure of Clyde's mother descends the steps of the carriage. She goes through the empty station -- the dark empty street -- the dark courtyard. 2. The dark building of the prison. A lantern over the prison gates, and the mother enters, and once again it is dark on the screen. Out of the darkness appears a prison cell, in which Mrs. Griffiths is sitting, holding her son's head in her huge hands. Like a little boy, Clyde sobs, as he says: "I -- didn't do it --" And the mother's large hand strokes the boy's hand, and tears well up in her eyes. 3. The barely visible structure of the prison building fades out completely in the darkness. 4. And a train comes directly forward into the camera. And the wheels are beating their normal rhythm, and its bell chimes out in its normal way, but it seems as though the wheels were repeating "Death -- death -- death" and as though the bell were tolling at a funeral. And in a compartment Clyde is sitting, joined to a guard by manacles. 5. The train stops at a station. Clyde looks out of the window and a crowd of young girls and boys assemble, snapping him with their cameras, bringing him bouquets of flowers, and greeting him. The girls look at him with admiration -- is he not the hero of a tragedy of love? "Good luck, Mr. Griffiths." "Good luck, Clyde." And Clyde smiles at them, smiles a boyish smile. "Your mother will help," someone cries out from the crowd. Smiling proudly in their importance, the two detectives pull Clyde away from the window. The train leaves.... 6. In the office of Belknap and Jephson. Belknap is seated, Jephson standing. Before them is Clyde's mother. The crudeness of her clothes has been effaced for them by the earnestness of her manner. Jephson is explaining to her that there are no funds for appeal. The Griffiths of Lycurgus have withdrawn their support. She listens taking in only a part of what they are saying. Then suddenly rises to her feet: "The Lord will not desert me. I know it. He has declared himself to me. I will trust him and he will guide me." In pagan astonishment and some admiration Belknap and Jephson are taken aback by this evangelistic fervour. Then -- Why not? Jephson strikes his hand to his head, and speaks animatedly to Belknap. It could be done. Why not? The only chance to raise the money. There are religious people, people of faith, everywhere. Let her speak for her son and take a collection. FADE OUT 7. "I am trying to gather enough money to pay or an appeal for my son." -- says Clyde's mother, turning to two men. She sits in the small confirmation room of a church. "I should like to preach in your church." "We cannot help you," answers a grey-haired man. "Even if he is innocent of murder -- there is the adultery -- that we cannot endorse in our community." 8. Out of the doors of another church comes the sorrowful mother. And within two grey-haired women talk of her. "Her teaching is suspicious. She belongs to no congregation of any official church and we did right in refusing to let her preach." 9. "I am sorry, sister," a well-built Negro preacher says to Clyde's mother. "Our church cannot give you its hall. It is only for coloured people." And, ever more discouraged, she leaves the room. 10. The apple trees are in blossom -- ivy is crawling up the walls -- the grapevine curls itself about the iron railing. The white flowers of sweet peas and the yellow of nasturtiums crowd around the prison-cell window. The white building of the prison is set in the midst of green shrubs and moss. 11. Again the moss-covered window, and behind the window, in his cell, sits Clyde. He is dressed in the striped uniform of a prisoner, and on his back is number 772. He feels his shaved head, his sunken cheeks and trembles as if cold. "Where am I?" -- asks Clyde. And from the next cell a voice is heard: "In the Death House, on Murderers' Row." And Clyde shuts his eyes, and helplessly falls on his bunk. 12. Over the sign Burlesque Show, above the undraped figures of women, workmen are suspending a cloth sign, on which is written: A Mother's Appeal for her Son. And boys in the street are handing out leaflets on which is advertised the plea of Clyde's mother. 13. A sombre, serious crowd of people pass through the tawdry entrance of the Burlesque theatre, pass the posters of indecent, undraped women. And on the scene, with a background of the Burlesque drops on the stage, among plaster statues of gaudy women, Clyde's mother speaks in her sincere way, her large figure in bleak contrast with the surrounding atmosphere. She speaks with faith, feelingly, touchingly, as a mother can speak of her son, and it makes the Burlesque girls clad in their sparkles and feathers cry as they wait at the back for rehearsal; even the electrician at his signal board is intent. A tray is passed through the congregation for offerings. "What is this -- a church?" asks a merry young girl, coming late for rehearsal, as she enters backstage. "Hush," the others quiet her, as they blow their noses. 14. And when Clyde's mother leaves the theatre, she has to pass a row of burlesque girls ready for the rehearsal. In her hands she holds the bag of money, two girls break line and ask respectfully to offer coins. Clyde's mother smiles as she passes through the exit door and she hears neither the cheap music, nor the hoarse singing of the rehearsal which has started. 15. "Clyde," a voice is heard saying in the dark. Clyde jumps off his bunk in his cell. "A note for you," a voice says, and a hand gives him an envelope. 16. He unfolds the note. It is typewritten and reads: Clyde -- This is so that you will not think that someone once dear to you has utterly forgotten you. She has suffered much, too -- Sondra. He presses it to his lips, runs up to the window, looks out at the sun and repeats words that he said once before, long ago: "To live -- how good it is." 17. "Hello, Clyde, hello, son," he hears his mother's voice and sees her come to him. His mother forces herself to show no anxiety, she says: "The Governor has promised to see us, son, and we have a little money together, not much --" He throws himself into her arms, and presses his head upon her lap, once more a boy. "Everything will be all right, Clyde," she croons, stroking the head in her lap. "Everything will be all right. You didn't do it. You didn't do it." "Yes, mummy, I didn't do it." The warmth of her faith, the tenderness of her protecting hand, her soothing voice envelop Clyde. He is a child of years ago. "You didn't do it -- the Lord will deliver you," soothes the mother. "My boy could never think of such a thing." Clyde snuggles closer. Gone is the tension of his long ordeal. His soul relaxes. The comforting hand caresses him. "I did -- think of it, mummy," says Clyde. And the mother's caress slows, her fingers have become stiff and her face set. And Clyde rubs his cheek against the hands that are now of wood. "But I never -- never -- never did it, mummy." 18. The door opens and Jephson enters. He speaks hurriedly to Mrs. Griffiths. "We must go now. We are due at the Governor's. Come." The mother rises, she presses Clyde in her great protecting arms and responds to his kiss. With a trace of absentness she leaves the cell with Jephson. "Good luck, mother, good luck," Clyde calls after her. And once more Clyde goes to the window, Sondra's note in his hand and tears of happiness in his eyes. 19. The unfriendly house of the Governor. 20. The great study of the Governor. In front of a great desk stands the Governor compassionately by the side of the mother. Quietly he asks: "Can you, Mrs. Griffiths, can you from the bottom of your soul tell me that you believe him innocent?" She turns to him to say "Yes", but having said: "My son ...." she stops. Her eyes open wide as she hears the voice of Clyde, softly: "I did -- think of it, mummy --" -- and she closes her eyes. Her head drops on her chest, there is silence in the room. The shrill sound of a bell. The mother starts, opens her eyes. The Governor removes his hand from the bell. He stands on the other side of the desk. He is important, full of power and unapproachable. "Excuse me," he says, "but there is no reason to reopen the case. God will help you, mother. My prayers go with you." The door is opened and automatically she leaves the room, but, as the door closes behind her, she comes to herself, cries out, and turns back towards the door. "My son is innocent," she says. But the door does not open. 21. Darkness spreads over the screen, and at the same time, with a fierce rattle, an iron shutter is drawn up, disclosing a cell window. On the floor is a clean brass cuspidor. A soft broom is carefully cleaning the space around it. The broom is sweeping between the feet of the chair. And -- -- on these feet hang leather thongs with heavy buckles, and from the chair onto the floor falls a shadow. There is a heavy iron door in this room. And from behind the door can be heard a song. Clyde and his mother are singing psalms. In the condemned cell, clad in black, sing Clyde and his fanatically exalted mother. And suddenly Clyde breaks off in his singing, and at the knees of his mother he clasps her with a cry: "To live -- I want to live!" And through the window is the bright sunlit courtyard of the prison, all in green and in flowers, and on it is heard: "To live --" And again we see the cell window, and within it is the mother praying, and the camera receding discloses to us that now she is alone, on her knees and singing; more faintly now, but more majestically. Slowly the heavy iron door closes. And against the background of the spring fields and sky slides from left to right the barred gate of the prison. And from right to left the solid inner gate of the prison. And the blinds and shutters of the windows come sliding down and sliding down, shutting out the landscapes and the sky -- light -- life -- And with their closing, cease the trilling of grasshoppers in the meadows, the singing of the birds and the sound of human voices, and as the last sound is gone the last shutter descends closing out the prison bars against the white and there is blackness. Blackness and quiet. A sharp crackle and the sharp light of an electric contact -- and again quiet -- again blackness. 22. Grey smoke rises against the dull sky and loses itself in the quiet air. A tall chimney, a roof; the camera descends past the windows and balconies of a mean building, and the lower descends the camera the stronger sound the voices of a little choir singing psalms. In a dirty lane by a mission, surrounded by a crowd of curiosity seekers, to the sound of a harmonium, some street preachers are singing, as at the beginning of the picture. There they stand, but now the hair of the mother is white as snow, the father is old and ailing, and Esta is grown to a sickly woman and, instead of Clyde, as small as when we first saw him and resembling him, is her little seven-year-old son. How long since you wrote to Mother? -- says a notice by the entrance to the mission. "Everybody's happy" -- sings the white-haired, broken mother. Pitifully wheezes the harmonium and the strains of "Everybody's happy" fade distantly as the scene FADES OUT. Unproduced first draft screenplay, circa September 1930 by S. M. Eisenstein, G. V. Alexandrov and Ivor Montagu
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